Opinion by MP Christopher Emmanuel: Fuel Prices

POSTED: 04/6/16 6:13 PM

Dear editor,

“As Member of Parliament, I have serious concerns regarding the current pricing of Petroleum products on the islands relating LPG, fuel and low sulfur diesel”.

I believe that the people of St. Maarten have a right to know the ins and outs of the accurate and concise calculations relating to these products.
No longer shall I accept that it simply be told that everything is calculated by world market.

This Member of Parliament would like to know; who are the importers of LPG/ fuel and low sulfur diesel? Also what are the additional products sold on the island which is derived from the same crude oil barrel.

My further concerns are:

What procedures are used for the calculations of the published prices?

Who calculates these/our prices?

What world postings are used to calculate the pricings?

How often are these prices adjusted?

When and how the wholesale/retailers are notified of price change?

Prices in the petroleum products; how is it that some are increased or decreased but others don’t? For example, the price of LPG decreased, but the price for jet fuel remains the same when both products are derived from the same barrel of crude oil?

Can the Minister confirm whether there are profits margins of approximately $ 18 per 20 lbs LPG bottle?

Should this last question be incorrect, can the minister then inform me of the permissible margin to determine the local retail pricing that is being applied and of controls that determines this mark-up which is passed on to St. Maarten/the consumer.

Can the Minister inform Parliament to what extent are the supplier/s involved or influences the pricing?

If so what is the role of the Department of Economic Affairs in the pricing of LPG that is put on our market to be sold to our Consumers?

I shall firstly be requesting, through the Chairlady, a meeting with Minister of TEATT to discuss the issue of local petroleum products pricing in the sphere and interest of transparency.

MP Christopher Emmanuel

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