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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Gasoline prices continue to soar in Mexico

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
The price of fuel in Mérida has skyrocketed past pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Gasoline prices in Mexico continue to rise, with a liter costing upwards of 25 pesos in some parts of the country.

The average cost of a liter of gasoline in the country is 21.44 for diesel, 21.93 for premium and 20.39 for regular, according to Mexico’s consumer protection agency, Profeco.

The agency also said that they would continue to conduct inspections at gas stations to ensure that customers are getting the full amount of fuel that they are paying for. 

Complaints against gas stations in Yucatán are common as customers routinely argue that not all of the gasoline which they pay for actually makes it into their tanks.

Last year the price of gasoline dropped to an average of nearly 15 pesos a liter as the COVID-19 pandemic began to spiral out of control and cause a crash in the price of oil. 

Since then, the price of crude oil has risen considerably and with it the cost of gasoline for motor vehicles. 

Earlier: CFE reports 242 of its workers died from COVID-19

Taxes are one of the main factors making gasoline in Mexico much more expensive than in other neighboring countries. On average, 40% of the cost of a liter of gasoline corresponds to a variety of taxes. 

Although Mexico is one of the largest oil producers in the world, the country does not possess the infrastructure needed to process crude oil into usable fuel. For this reason, most of the fuel sold in Mexico is first exported to the United States and is then sold back to Mexico at a higher price. 

To fix this problem, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has ordered the construction of the Dos Bocas refinery in Tabasco. However, since the project was kicked off in 2019 it has run into several delays and is far from operational.

Another problem plaguing the energy sector in Mexico is the theft of fuel by gangs of criminals known as huachicoleros.

López Obrador has said that fuel theft gangs have grown so bold — and have so many connections inside refineries — that they’ve stolen billions of pesos worth of gasoline and diesel directly from plants. 

Critics of the president argue that he has not done enough to invest in renewable energy sources and places too great an emphasis on propping up Mexico’s state-owned energy giants

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