New MAP drops prices for gasoline and diesel

fili@samoanews.com

Motorists are happy to see the latest drop in the price of gasoline — about 9 cents per gallon — at the pump.

The decrease is also welcomed by owners of vehicles that fill up with diesel fuel.

The drop in fuel cost should be of some help for the ASG - with its fleet of more than 100 vehicles — as Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga has already implemented a policy reducing gasoline voucher allocations by half, for all fuel funded by local revenues for all ASG departments and offices, as the government works towards the goal of under spending at the end of fiscal year 2017.

The new fuel prices for American Samoa became effective June 15 and will extend to July 14, when the ASG Office of Petroleum Management releases the new maximum allowable price (MAP) — or the wholesale price, which is set by the government.

This fuel cost format, the MAP, is now being explored by other Pacific island countries and territories.

Citing data from global markets, OPM petroleum officer, Sione Kava says the cost of crude oil, Spot Singapore (MOPS) dropped by an average of $4/bbl from last month. The drop in the crude oil price per barrel can be partly attributed to increasing crude oil stocks.

He explained that for American Samoa, the dated Brent Crude dropped 4.13% from last month bringing down the Singapore MOPS to an average of 8c/gallon. Additionally, transportation costs, which is the cost of transporting oil via tanker, dropped by 10 cents per gallon.

The Base Price and the Transportation cost account for over 57% of the MAP on diesel, and 61% of gasoline and jet fuel sold on island. These costs, says Kava, are determined by the global market and American Samoa and the rest of the region, for that matter, have very little to do with it.

The drop in the new MAP, meant a decrease across the board for all petroleum products sold in the territory. Based on the current MAP — June 15-July 14 — released early this week by OPM, gasoline prices decreased by 9 cents per gallon while diesel fuel,  road diesel, boilers/generators, dropped by 9.4 cents per gallon.

Kava again emphasized that ASG/OPM has control over the MAP, which is the price — with discounts maybe — that the gas stations are paying the suppliers: Pacific Energy and/or Sunrise Oil, for fuel to their gas stations.

He reminds motorists and local consumers that ASG/OPM has no control over the retail price at the gas stations, as that is determined by the owners.

According to OPM data, the average cost at the pump until July 14 has gasoline selling at $3.08 per gallon and road diesel at $3.11 per gallon.

For other petroleum products sold in the territory, the new MAP has other marine diesel fuel dropping by 9 cents per gallon, which is also the same decrease in the MAP for Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel for road diesel (which is used by new school buses) and boilers and generators (used by new generators at the Satala Power Plant).

Jet fuel and kerosene is decreased by 8 cents per gallon under the new MAP.

The decrease for kerosene provides help to local families who use it for their cooking stoves.

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