Pump prices fall to $5

| 29/12/2014

(CNS): After weeks of waiting some local pump prices finally fell to $5 this holiday but gas prices in Cayman are still slow to reflect the international fall in world oil prices. According to the petroleum inspectorate's latest price updates of all of Cayman’s gas station prices, on Christmas Eve both Walker’s Road and Mike’s Seven Mile Esso were selling regular gas for self-service customers at $5 a gallon. This represents a fall of around 60 cents over the last three months since the prices started to fall locally, more than three months behind the fall in prices in the US, from where Cayman imports most of its fuel. 

Concerns continue, however, that without the necessary regulation, somewhere along the local supply chain someone is getting rich at the local drivers' expense. A recent Viewpoint on CNS by local businessman George Ebanks, which generated considerable debate among the regular CNS commenters, called for government to intervene to establish realistic prices and profit margins for the fuel companies and retailers at the gas stations.

And despite the fall in most Grand Cayman pump prices, drivers on the Sister Islands are still paying considerably more, with the Brac stations both charging $5.75 per gallon and the one station on Little Cayman at the Village Square charging $6.49 a gallon for regular gas.

While the subject of local gas prices in general continues to generate debate due to its wider impact on the cost of living, another persistent area of complaint is the length of time that it takes for the global fall in oil prices to be reflected on the local high street.

The fuel companies have long insisted that the time delay is down to the way the fuel is purchased and then supplied here over a long period. If this is correct, then Cayman drivers should be seeing further declines in the coming weeks at all of the local pumps.

Part of the planning department, the petroleum inspectorate keeps a record of all local gas prices visit the website here.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Gas prices are similar to the pricing of other goods and services in Cayman, it is just how much consumers are being ripped off by business owners is far more transparent.  The real problem is that limitations on external capital investment and ownership of businesses leads to duopolies or oligopolies in virtually all areas and this allow the owners to reap oligopolistic profits at the expense of the consumers.  Wholsalers do the same to retailers, unless the same person/family controls wholesale and retail in which case super-profiteering is possible.  If people are worried about the cost of living in the Cayman Islands then the best thing to do to dramatically reduce the cost of living would be to abolish the 60% local ownership restriction on local businesses.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cost of living is high is all down due work permit fees. In my business cost me 15% of my turnover which it pass on customers to pay.

  2. Anonymous says:

    stll too high. gas in florida is US$2.25 as of today

    • Anonymous says:

      Gas in Indiana 4 days ago was $1.62 per US gallon.

    • Anonymous says:

      They can sell a million of gallon of fuel a month easily while in cayman it take a year that why is cheap in USA.

  3. biker says:

    In the U.S., gas prices have fallen more than 40%.

    Here, right at 10%.

    Somebody's making a 'killing'!

  4. Anonymous says:

    When going down on Cayman Brac $5.75 CI still???

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’m hearing that Cayman Brac airport doesn’t have fuel for planes! I hope brac leader better do a better job with the price of gas up here in the brac & he lower his price in his shop also!! Bracka

  6. Anonymous says:

    BEWARE! Customers should monitor their gas purchases carefully in comparison to purchases at the higher prices. Gas merchants have been known to calibrate pumps in US gallons instead of Imperial gallons. Today I bought gas and expected my gauge to show much more than it did for the amount I bought. This happened to me a few years ago and luckily the gas station owner was on site at the time so I queried this. He came out and checked and comfirmed that the pump was "mistakenly" calibrated in US gallons and gave me a refund. Had I not questioned I wonder how many people would have been ripped-off? The customer has no way of telling.

    With many station owners being reluctant to drop their prices promptly, please do not be surprised if greed would lead some of them to pull this US vs Imperial switch.

    CNS, is it possible to give prominence to this concern? Thanks.


    • Anonymous says:

      This happened to me this week at one of the gas stations on West Bay Road.  I got $35.00  worth at 5.04 a gallon and I got way less gas at this gas station then when I got $25.00 worth at 5.19 a gallon at the other gas station down the road.  Something fishy going on there.

    • Anonymous says:

      We should be similarly concerned about the quality of the liquid being sold as "gasoline" – totally unregulated at this point.  

  7. Anonymous says:

    High fuel prices mean higher return especially if you’re biggest share holder in the Brac electric company=kirks!bracka

  8. Anonymous says:

    I would like to know who inspects the pumps at the gas stations,so that I know in fact that I'm getting the amount of gas that it says and I'm paying for?

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately (shockingly) this is completely unregulated business.  It is not the remit of the Fuel Inspectorate, as one would naturally assume – they are charged only with inspecting bulk fuel depots and only regularly inspect the quality of aviation fuel (as it pertains directly to FAA safety regs).  As is so damningly common, this public agency is not a consumer advocacy group.  Their published mandate is to ensure industry policy is followed to protect environment, health, and safety (specifically the 1997 Fire Code).  They aren't concerned with what the gas stations are selling or how they sell it, unless it has some negative effect on environment, health, or safety.  Tellingly, they will go out of their way to redact information or deny FOIs to protect the identities of offending retail merchants that their own quality assessment of 2013 demonstrated the existence of…because full transparancy might risk 'biasing consumer behavior'.  You don't say.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Clearly the fuel companies are taking advantage of us here in Cayman. We're seen as a "Captive" market i'm sure.

    There is one significant thing i've done over tha past decade though….and that's bought more fuel efficient vehicles (think 4 cylinders). I'm amazed at how many of my fellow Caymanians drive around in huge SUV's with usually only 1-2 people in the vehicle?

    Still….CIG needs to step in and cause some semsible change. Not the usual statistical mumbo jumbo from the "Petroleum Inspectorate" (which seems to be a Govt. sanctioned office to defend the fuel companies!)

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hail the private sector..the saviour of the Cayman Islands according to EY. Just a preview of what is to come? 

    Government needs to regulate these giants and tame the beast. All this is that since Oil companies losing money in other jurisdiction want to Cayman to be the last place to profit.

    No worries, soon going to start smuggling in fuel and selling it under straight bet that will break down the market.



  11. Anonymous says:

    Is anyone interested in forming a consortium to import gas ourselves… like the rich families do?



  12. Anonymous says:

    This type of thing is known as a cartel. Illegal in uk, as is price fixing. Privy council anyone?

    • Anonymous says:

      Made up law anyone?  The UK law is statutory, and largely driven by EU law.  Most of Cayman is a cartel, but the fat cats who get rich off the high cost of living are too powerful for any politician to stand up to.  Especially Arden the Spineless.

  13. Anonymous says:

    It's actually $5/gallon, in blind consumer trust for whatever your preferred merchant is currently representing to you as gasoline, sourced from wherever they choose, and which, from the inspectorate's own report from 2013, can include fresh water, salt water, rust, particulate, etc. in varying concentrations.  Your guess on which stations maintain clean local storage tanks and pumps.

  14. Dred says:

    The fuel drop is all BS!! This is the new drops only as USA went from USD 2.60 to USD 1.669 in last few months and we followed suit as we should have from the beginning but never did while the gas stations and fuel depots raked in the profits and kept them. Let's now look at real numbers. If in the USA people can buy gas retail at USD 1.669 it would be reasonable to expect companies like Rubis and SOL to get at least a 20% reduction for volume or about USD 1.34 per US Gallon. This converts to USD 1.61 per imperial gallon or CID 1.35 now lets add shipping which would be pennies on the dollar because the high volumes or CID 0.15 and duties of CID 0.75 so final landing price should be in the neighbourhood of CID 2.25 and we are paying CID 5.03 at the pump. So….cost before labor is CID 2.25 and retail is CID 5.03, are we really seeing the savings due to gas price falling? No. So forgive me if I don't go ape sh@# over the latest drops in fuel prices. I will get a little more excited when we get with CID 1.50 to CID 1.75 of the landed prices.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your comment shows very faulty logic, and while everyone agrees gas prices are quick to rise and slow to fall in response to changes in the wholesale prices, there are a lot of armchair fuel price experts spouting nonesense. This creates a righteous indignation that is unfortunately grounded in shaky assumptions and entirely ineffective when it's directed into cyberspace on the CNS comment boards and into thin air as we gripe to our families and friends.

      Just very quickly, (1) you are starting way too low for US retail prices (the vast majority of states still haven't dropped below US$2 and that is clear from a quick internet search – http://www.gasbuddy.com/GB_Price_List.aspx), (2) shipping and handling would definitely work out to more than "pennies on the dollar", especially since you have to consider insurance and many local fees on top of the shipping agency's cost, and (3) 20% reduction for volume is clearly a number you pulled out of thin air with no reasoning behind it.

      It's great to think critically, but when people make baseless assumptions (or, even worse, rely on blatantly incorrect data like your supposed gas retail price in the US) it degrades the quality of these types of posts and can also be misleading for people who don't take a critical approach to the comments themselves. When numbers are involved it becomes even more irresponsible to make these kinds of assertions because as easily as they can be fact-checked they could have been researched in advance.

      How about we all make a new year's resolution to elevate the quality of these discussions since, sadly, this kind of research and analysis that might be undertaken by think-tanks, lobby/interest groups and journalists in other countries to hold people accountable doesn't happen here. We don't have the first two groups and the third doesn't engage in investigative or long-form journalism, reasearch pieces or much hard-hitting analysis (the exception being the occasional CNS Viewpoint – which is often crowded out by others that do not meet the standard I'm talking about).

      Maybe this is because these activities are too costly (with such a small potential readership and not a lot of advertising dollars or other ways to earn revenue), or maybe it's because we haven't yet reached that type of mature democractic society where we want a responsible media and citizens to hold governments, corporations and others to account, or maybe it's because we're all too damn scared to put our names behind anything (I myself always choose to remain anonymous here for the same reasons many of you do)… but I really hope this might change at some point.

      CNS has been a great start and I was excited when it first started up. But you simply can't expect such a small operation to do much more, and the insightful and engaging dialogue in the comments often gets lost among the trolls, the reactionaries, and the people who refuse to be open to facts and ideas and instead push the same nonsense in every single post.

      I also must be honest that I find the news articles on this site to be straying into less objective territory that would be better left to the Viewpoints section (and I find many of the Viewpoints written by both Nicky and Wendy as well as anonymous and named contributors – the one to the left by 101 is a good example – to be well-researched, thoughtful, and thought-provoking) and feel that is affecting the credibility of CNS as a media house.

      Pardon the long meander through territory completely unrelated to the story at hand. I've been reflecting at the end of this year and thinking about what I would like to see (and what I think we all need) in the next one and this is the top of my wish list – more critical thinking and accountability.

      • Anonymous says:

        We should all be smart enough to know that freighters don't pay retail gasbuddy prices when they call on a refinery wholesaler.  Additionally, outside of airports and marinas, Cayman's retailers do not have to purchase fuel from a local depot, they can privately source their fuel from anywhere and dilute with their own impurities without risk of inspection/detection.  The $5/gallon does not include any regulation margin for these vendors.

  15. Anonymous says:

    As long as there are MLA's owning gas stations, the prices will stay high.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Prices can't go down in Cayman Brac, too many latinas need Iphones.

  17. Anonymous says:

    cayman does not ship gas from the us, it ships gas from curacao.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Oh gollygee…Thanks Kurt ..gonna run out now and fill up my tank..yeah right..damn Pirates!

  19. 4Cayman says:

    The whole gas deal in the cayman islands is a deliberate conspiracy between the gas suppliers, government and cuc! Waiting to hear now if cay air is going to drop their prices?

  20. Anonymous says:

    Where is Kurt, Alen or any of those losers that call the selves "progressivies" in this. Gas is way below USD2.00 in the United States. No matter how you do the math, everyone has to see we are being ripped off.. What is the matter with these people? Do they think we are just going to forget about this next election…We nah that fool fool!

    • Anonymous says:

      You are missing the point. Cayman fuel is import which we have to pay shipping costs and import fees. In USA fuel travel by pipelines which cost nothing in transport. Also in USA sell million of gallons a month which they easily make profit on lost prices.

  21. Anonymous says:

    We sure pay to live in this paradise, hope it falls to $4.00 by this time next year!

  22. Anonymous says:

    What’s the job of fuel inspector? Seat warmer Mr. Alden!!! Fuel is below 1.75usd in over 1/2 of USA!!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Brac gas is still $5.75 a gallon! What’s going C-Brac leader=Moses & juju? what about prices at the shop also? $100 for a 5gallon bucket of saltbeff which was $64 in November @ price wrong!! Gt votet

  24. Anonymous says:

    Gas is presently $2.17US where I live.

    • Anonymous says:

      But everyone can buy guns and most people don't believe in evolution, so it is swings and roundabouts, innit?

    • Anonymous says:

      And in the UK,  gas is $8 per gallon which demonstrates what a fine job your masters are doing with their economy. 


      • Fred the Piemaker says:

        The UK price is largely driven by tax.  Want to compare the public services provided in the UK versus those here.?  Hey, lets start with health and unemployment benefit!  Waste, incomptence and greed is removng the advantages of a no direct tax economy whilst preserving all the disadvantages.  Which demonstrates what a fine job our sucessive gvernments have done managing our economy.

        • Anonymous says:

          The UK has a great public transportaion system, something we do not have. No comparison!

          • Anonymous says:

            I presume you think the 2quid it cost to travel a whole 2 miles is also worth it too right? Try to paint the entire picture the next time.

        • Anonymous says:

          lol..just because they have these things, doesnt mean it holds good value. your logic is of one who believes that santa is real.

          The Uk government taxes the crap out of the young, to suppliment the old. a complete ass to mouth system, where people are held in a class stigma. Unless you have friends in high places, a daddy who s a lord or a rich arab, your life is pretty much as average as a frog in the boondocks. The uk isnt that splendid ole chap.  As what china told cameron, the uk is only good for visiting old buildings and going to university. Even scotland wants to leave. lol. Pure hype

    • Anonymous says:

      5.00 ci equates to 6.00 us..so how can we be jumping for joy on this one??? in the states it is under 2.50 US!!! we are still paying 3 times the amount….what is this government doing to us???

  25. Anonymous says:

    I know things in tropical paradise are always high.  but I am sure enjoying the USA $1.72 for galleon gas here in Texas

  26. Anonymous says:

    Bet you they don't lag behind when fuel prices start to go up around the world though!  This needs urgent attention and Kurt need to get up and make a statement as to whether he is going to do something about it.  It's rediculous.  The price of fuel directly impacts the cost of living and profitability of the whole economy and the fuel companies and retailers are killing us.

    • Anonymous says:

      Kurt isnt going to do one damn thing about these oil giants. Its time for us the people to make a stand!

      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe it's time for another coupe d'etat. That's seemed to be the only thing to get Kurt to get off his large butt and do anything..Remember how we struggled when he was in charge?  No his protege and wekling Alden is there doing the same foolishness.

        • Anonymous says:

          Spoken like a McKeeva supporter but he didn't like it when it happened to him!

      • Anonymous says:

        First thing Kurt needs to do is close that section – Petroleum Inspectorate.  That's a big joke, government can save some money.  Just a useless bunch.

      • Anonymous says:

        People complain abou the price of a non-renewable resource while driving huge SUVs around a tiny island and paying more for water bottled in the states and shipped across the sea.


        Siwwy wabbit!

      • Anonymous says:

        Less talk.  What are you goimg to do about it?

      • Anonymous says:

        I'm standing. What now?

      • Bling Man says:

        Where yah want me stand?

    • Anonymous says:

      He too busy cooking turtle. Don't waste your time thinking he or any other person in government gives a cap.  

    • Anonymous says:

      What do you expect when some of the PPM's ministers and staunchest supporters are gas station owners?

    • Anonymous says:

      Say what? kurt do what? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, this got to be the joke of the year! It don't get no funnier than this.

  27. Anonymous says:

    When will the Brac and Little Cayman prices drop???

  28. Anonymous says:

    Not on Eastern Avenue as at lunchtime they havent!

  29. Maverick says:

    It's called PETROL.

  30. Anon says:

    What a deal! 

  31. The Thinker says:

    When the price of crude goes down it takes several weeks for the pump pricees to drop, but when the price of crude goes up, the pump prices are usually up within a few days.  Isn't that really amazing?

    • Anonymous says:

      Not so in the US they have to drop it immidiatly, they have consumer protection and leaders with balls.

    • Anonymous says:

      12:48 that proves that the Petroleum Inspectorate doesn't serve a purpose.  They find every excuse why the prices can't go down but none when they rise.  Get up and do something or say something.  We are waiting.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cars don't run on crude.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Is anybody able to break down the price ?

    Cost per gallon to ship from the US to here, duty, wholesale price for gas stations.

    The government takes 75 cents.

    How much for the importers ?

    So what is the profit margin for the gas station owner ?

    I would like to know who is the one that gets rich here . . . . .and therefor who is to blame.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dont know about the Gas stations, but a friend of mine ships his to the island by tanker trucks.

      He sells his fuel at CI$4.00 per imperial gallon, and he make a ton load of profit. He pays more for shipping than the tanker ships, he  pays the same 75 cent to government for tax.

      Maybe we should all get together and ship in our own fuel. We used to do it back in the days, came in 55 gallon drums.

      Anyone notice if the natural gas price droped? this has fallen even deeper than the liquid fuel. The US has so much in reserve at the moment its hardly worth selling.


    • Anonymous says:

      Well a certain member fro, Bodden town, recently disgraced, is getting richer..

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly the main point. We need transparency in these prices!
      Break the price down as is laid out here; only then can we get to a position where a reasonable debate can take place.
      Failing such transparency then I maintain that we the people are being ripped off royally!
      Cayman prices should be around ci$3.00 per gallon!

    • Anonymous says:

      We also use  different measure for gallon here in the Caymans to what is used in the US

    • Anonymous says:

      I remember one gas station did break it down a while back, in normal operations they were making about $1.40 per gallon but if you now factor in the greatly reduced cost of fuel it's probably nearer $3 a gallon, or $30 for every 10 gallons.  They do need to pay wages, light, rent and probably some sort of franchise costs but even so…

      One of the answers would be to close half of the gas stations so that volumes were higher at those still open, therefore the margins can be slashed.  In the US the gas stations take about 5 cents a gallon but then the volumes are much higher.  We are paying for convenience, we don't need a station every half mile!

    • Anonymous says:

      Re 12:42 do you give a detailed cost breakdown for whatever work you do? Very unlikely. If you dont like the price of petrol then dont buy it. It is simple. No one is to blame except you.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Gas is cheap.  Don't see what the problem is.