A motorist tanking up (file photo).
PHILIPSBURG--The price of fuel in St. Maarten can only be lowered after the new stock is received by the main wholesaler.
Acting Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) Omar Ottley provided the information during Wednesday’s live Council of Ministers press briefing in response to a question he had received in writing about the lowering of gas prices around the world, but not in St. Maarten.
“Gas prices go down when the main wholesaler basically receives their new stock,” stated Ottley. “I want to break it down as simple as possible. If you have just, for instance, 100 gallons of gasoline and it is set at a certain price, when you receive the next stock that is when the change can go into effect,” Ottley explained.
He said during the lockdown many people were not moving and as a result, the price of gas took longer to go down. “However, a fuel price change can be expected within the coming weeks, but when we give information, I would also like for us to also realise that when they say St. Maarten is high – high compared to what, compared to who? For instance, St. Maarten is at US $1.67; Bahamas $1.76, Aruba $1.86, Jamaica $1.70, Curaçao at $1.64. So, we are high compared to whom?” he asked. “So, we have to be very careful with the message that we are giving out.”
Ottley said while he will respond to the question in writing, he wanted the public to know the reason. “We cannot just change prices. It is when the wholesaler notifies the ETT [Department of Economy, Transportation and Telecommunication in – Ed.], the Ministry of TEATT that, ‘Hey, our current stock is done,’ and then with the new stock, the new price change will be implemented and it is expected to be implemented within the next week.”