Economy May 11, 2023 | 8:10 am

The price of gasoline in the Dominican Republic has been higher than in Central America

The Dominican Republic has consistently had the highest prices for gasoline and diesel among six Central American countries over a span of 12 years, specifically from 2010 to 2021. According to data compiled by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) on hydrocarbon statistics in the region, the Dominican Republic consistently had higher average prices for premium and regular unleaded gasoline, as well as diesel, compared to Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.

In a recent report titled “Central America and the Dominican Republic: hydrocarbon statistics, 2021” published by ECLAC, the internal prices per gallon of fuel derivatives were converted into dollars for comparison. Analyzing the data from 2010 to 2021, it is evident that the Dominican Republic consistently had the highest prices, except for diesel in 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020, and gasoline in 2020.

The ECLAC report also examines the impact of tax differences on prices. In 2021, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica had similar average tax amounts per gallon of premium gasoline, amounting to $1.60, according to the data. For regular gasoline, the Dominican Republic ranked second with $1.44 in taxes per gallon, while for diesel, it ranked first with $0.94 per gallon.

Since March 2022, the Dominican Government has implemented a policy of extraordinary fuel subsidies to curb inflation, resulting in frozen prices for premium gasoline at 293.60 pesos per gallon and regular gasoline at 274.50 pesos per gallon. Regular diesel has remained at 221.60 pesos per gallon, and optimum at 241.10 pesos per gallon. For instance, out of the 293.60 pesos per gallon for premium gasoline, 97 pesos are attributed to taxes and 43.34 pesos to marketing margins, totaling 140.34 pesos.

In a recent development, the government reduced the price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from 147.60 to 144.60 pesos per gallon, marking a decrease of 3 pesos. Ramón Pérez Fermín, the Vice Minister of Internal Commerce of the Ministry of Industry, expressed optimism when announcing the current fuel prices, stating that it was the most favorable week for the Dominican market since 2021 in terms of fuel pricing.

The ECLAC report also highlights a 14.8% increase in hydrocarbon consumption in 2021 across the seven analyzed countries, indicating a near-full recovery to pre-pandemic levels in terms of mobility and economic activities. However, kero/jet fuel has not yet reached its pre-pandemic level due to the gradual recovery of air mobility.

Of the seven countries analyzed, the Dominican Republic had the highest total consumption in 2021, accounting for 66.5 million barrels or 32.4% of the total. When excluding consumption for electricity production, the Dominican Republic experienced the highest increase in hydrocarbon consumption at 24.5%, according to the report. The report also notes that fuel consumption for electricity generation in the region only decreased by 0.1% in 2021 due to improved efficiency of natural gas units, increased generation from renewable sources, and favorable rainfall.

Regarding the production of fuel derivatives in refineries, the report states that the Dominican Republic’s refineries only covered 13% of the national market.

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