Fri | Dec 9, 2016

Mixed fortunes at the pump

Published:Thursday | January 22, 2015 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju

MOTORISTS WILL enjoy mixed fortunes at the pump today with Petrojam selling 87- and 90-octane for $89.68 and $91.34 per litre, respectively, an increase of 78 cents, while the price of automotive diesel falls by $1.38 to sell at $89.46 per litre and ultra low sulphur diesel (ULSD) goes up by 26 cents to sell at $99.64 cents per litre.

This is the first increase in fuel prices since November 6, 2014, when the state-owned refinery marketed 87-octane at $115.07 per litre, 90-octane at $113.57 per litre, regular diesel for $113.57 and USLD for $84.51 per litre.

Marketing companies and retailers will add their respective markup to these prices

Today's increases coincide with an open forum on petroleum pricing to be hosted by the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) at its Trafalgar Road, New Kingston, head office, starting at 10 a.m. Senior executives will be on hand to explain the rationale behind Petrojam's pricing formula and answer questions on this crucial issue of national importance.

The PCJ, in a press advisory yesterday, said several officials will be on hand to explain the expected and actual impact of declining international crude oil prices on the local petroleum trade, a matter which has been the subject of much public debate in recent weeks. In fact, William Mahfood, president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), late last year took Petrojam to task, accusing the refinery of not passing on the full savings to consumers whenever prices fell on the international market, while hitting them with the full increases whenever fuel prices go up.

Following a meeting with Petrojam executives aimed at clarifying the issues, the PSOJ boss refused to issue a joint statement, claiming that he was dissatisfied with the explanation offered. He insisted that consumers were being hit hard in the pocket, a claim he says was borne out in a comprehensive analysis conducted by the PSOJ.