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Jamaica saves $30 billion on oil imports

Staff Writer | April 9, 2017
Jamaica reduced its oil import bill by $242 million last year, which helped to slash the trade deficit by nearly nine per cent, according to new data from Statin.
Jamaica oil
Good move   To slash the trade deficit
Motorists are, however, only partially benefiting from the price drop due to two sets of fuel taxes imposed in 2015 and 2017, The Gleaner reports.

Oil imports categorised as mineral fuels fell by 20.6 per cent to $935 million between January to December from $1.17 billion spent a year earlier, stated Statin.

"This was due to lower imports of petroleum oils, Bunker C grade fuel oil, automotive diesel oil, motor spirit gasolene, propane, and butane," the data agency said.

The overall trade deficit shrank to $3.55 billion for the calendar year.

During 2016, the average West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil prices declined by 11.3 per cent to $44.5 per barrel.

Currently, oil prices are hovering around $49 a barrel, still below the average $100 a barrel for much of the decade. Last week, Fadel Gheit, a noted oil analyst with U.S.-based investment firm Oppenheimer, told Jamaican securities dealers that oil should trend towards $60 and remain there for the foreseeable future.

Read the story here.