Only 4% of Ecuadorian consumers buy this fuel. It is getting more and more expensive to fill the tank amid the international rise in oil.
In 2011, the super gasoline it represented 13.8% of the domestic fuel market. At the beginning of 2022, that percentage dropped to 4.2%, even before the international price of the raw will shoot with war between russia and ukraine.
This gasoline is the only one whose price it has been liberalized since December 2018. That is, what national consumers pay is directly related to international costs.
The more expensive the Petroleumthe more expensive the Super in the country. In the last update, cut to February 12, 2022, this fuel was quoted at $3.68 per barrel.
With that level, there have already been user complaints. For example, Fran Ferrero, a well-known representative of the restaurant sector in Guayas, said the following through networks:
«Well gentlemen, my 2014 Cart says goodbye to the supermarket with elbow pain. I must sacrifice the engine since it is priceless $50 a tank vs. $18 when you buy it. Now that it has risen more, I don’t know how much it will fill. The situation is complex in the country and the world. Hold on tight!”
The scenario looks very complex because, during the day of this March 3, 2022, the price of the barrel of WTI (reference crude oil for Ecuador) is fluctuating above $114.
This means that the escalation continues unstoppable, and for the next update on March 12, 2022, the price of the super can rise to between $4.2 and $4.4 per gallon.
Does the supermarket run out of market?
Oswaldo Erazo, Executive Secretary of the National Chamber of Derivatives Distributors of Petroleum of Ecuador (Camddepe), explained that despite the strong increases in recent months, the Super it will continue to be marketed within a small segment of the population.
“The 4% who now pay the international prices It could be reduced to 3% with the new levels, but the fuel will not disappear from the market”, he pointed out.
According to Erazo, the health crisis, and the reduction in income in the population, deepened the tendency of the Ecuadorian consumer to prefer price over quality.
“In the short term it is cheaper to switch to other gasolines, but in the medium term the engine suffers and there are other costs,” he pointed out.
Besides, the Super It has a higher profit margin for the marketers, but now that market is marginal.
Since 2018, but with greater force since the rise in the crude oil pricethe Ecuadorian market has concentrated on consuming gasoline that is less friendly to the environment, more harmful to the engine and that even pays less VAT.
Is quality improvement possible?
Gonzalo Ponce Leiva, an Ecuadorian fuel user, denied that the super gasoline is at international prices, but the quality leaves much to be desired with sulfur levels far from the best standards.
With the same efficiency that the prices of the super gasolinewhat of Super it has nothing, it will be that the authorities can make sure that they improve the quality of that fuel crap, consumer fraud is a big business, complete impunity, “he stressed.
However, Erazo pointed out that there are currently no incentives for fuel quality to improve in Ecuador.
«It is not a business for any private importer to bring super gasoline of better quality if the market only covers 4%. The price of all fuels should be liberalized for the business to be profitable”, he stated.
Such complete liberalization is currently not seen as reliable because the international crude oil prices will continue to rise. According to a study by the investment bank JP Morgan, the price could reach $150 per barrel if, for example, the war reduces just 2 million of the 100 million in daily oil pumping. (JS)
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