The Upward trend that during the last weeks registers the barrel of petroleum in the international markets, standing above US$80, and the government’s decision to start transferring these increases to the fuel pricesis creating worry in the economic sectors for the impact that this has in the production costs and in the basic basket.
The prices of the main fuels in the country remained frozen for 14 months consecutive, until the second week of May of this year, when they registered a slight decrease. Gasoline fell two pesos for premium (from RD$293.60 to RD$291.60) and one peso for regular (RD$274.50 to RD$273.50). Regular diesel dropped a peso from RD$221.60 to RD$220.60 in June.
This Friday, the Government began to raise fuel, between one and two pesos. Premium gasoline rose from RD$291.60 to RD$293.10 per gallon, for an increase of RD$1.50; regular gasoline from RD$273.50 to RD$274.50; regular diesel from RD$220.60 to RD$221.60, and optimal diesel from RD$237.10 to RD$239.10 per gallon, rising RD$2.00.
International agencies report that crude oil prices recorded their sixth session of rise yesterday, in seven days, stimulated by supply limitations.
The barrel of US West Texas Intermediate (WTI), benchmark oil for the Dominican Republic, registered an increase of 0.61%, to settle at $80.58 dollars.
Faced with this situation, the transportation sector expressed its concern about the impact that the upward trend could have on fuel prices in the country, both in the cost of freight from the countryside to the city, in production costs for companies, as in the prices of basic basket products.
The president of the National Central of Unified Transport (CNTU), Williams Pérez Figuereo, said that it is unfortunate that oil prices in international markets begin to rise, and worse, that the government transfers these increases to the population.
The carrier stated that although there is a part of the sector receiving subsidies or compensation, it is only enough to work 12 days. He said that If this trend of increasing fuels continues, it is inevitable that freight transport will begin to riseand this, without a doubt, will affect the products of the basic basket and the production costs of the companies, which he said are already being affected by the series of blackouts registered in the country.
Pérez Figuereo indicated that, for now, passenger transport will not change and recommended as a measure, if fuel prices continue to rise, that the government extend the compensation it gives to transport so that rates remain stable.
It is not something to be alarmed
The economist Miguel Collado Di Franco affirmed that the situation of fluctuations in oil prices will remain in a range of US$70 and US$75, according to the projections of the Energy Information Administration (EIA), and assured that this “It’s not something to be alarmed about.”
Increases could be temporary
The economist Henri Hebrard pointed out that the rises in fuel prices are an unusual event that had not been registered since the week of March 5, 2022.
He indicated that this price movement carried out by the Government is seeking to slow down a bit the enormous increase in the weekly subsidy that shot up from RD$170 million (last week) to more than RD$300 million.
The economist was confident that starting next week, prices will be frozen and any increase in international prices will only affect the amount of the subsidy, which he said would continue to rise.
there will be no savings
Hebrard explained that for the modification of the 2023 Modified Budget, the Government had an interest in reducing the amount allocated to subsidies from RD$20,000 MM to RD$7,000 MM and under these conditions, he pointed out, it will not be possible. He said that RD$20,000 million had been consigned, equivalent to RD$380 million per week.