Business & Economy

Premium gasoline tops $5 a gallon in Ecuador

Quito, Jul 12 (EFE).- The reference price of premium unleaded gasoline in Ecuador, Super 92, reached $5.20 a gallon (3.78 liters) on Tuesday, a new record for the oil-producing Andean nation.

As the only fuel outside the system of subsidies, Ecuador’s highest-octane gasoline is also the only one whose price is directly linked to the global price of petroleum, which dipped below $100 a barrel on Tuesday for the first time in three months.

Efe spotted prices for Super 92 ranging from $4.99 to $5.23 a gallon at gas stations in Quito.

Premium gas broke through the $5 a gallon level last month in the United States, where median annual household income is $67,521, compared with $5,760 in Ecuador.

The price of Super 92 is set by state-owned Petroecuador based on a formula based on the blended per-barrel cost of domestic and imported oil, plus transportation, storage and distribution costs and taxes.

Pump prices for regular unleaded, rated at 85-octane, and diesel, were recently rolled back to $2.40 and $1.75 a gallon, respectively, in a concession to weeks of massive protests against the rising cost of living.

In a statement, Petroecuador stressed that only 6.1 percent of vehicles in Ecuador run on premium gasoline.

Beginning Aug. 12, Petroecuador plans to offer a new grade of gasoline, Eco Plus 89, at 254 gas stations in the coastal provinces of Guayas and Esmeraldas.

The price of Eco Plus 89 will be set by the market.

Looking ahead to September, Petroecuador expects to replace Super 92 with Super Premium 95. EFE


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