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Citizen Protests Over Gasoline Price Hikes Fade Away in Mexico

LADB Article ID: 80336
Category/Department: Mexico
Date: 2017-07-05
By: Carlos Navarro

Seven months after the Mexican government eliminated subsidies on gasoline, prices at the pump have not increased significantly. The price stability means that the gasolinazo that upset so many Mexicans at the beginning of the year (SourceMex, Jan. 4, 2017, and Feb. 8, 2017) has faded into the background. Magna grade gasoline, the equivalent of regular unleaded, was down in June relative to the start of the year. “The issue has disappeared from the public, primarily because the price of magna gasoline has declined by 2% on average between Jan. 1 and now,” columnist Enrique Quintana wrote in the daily business newspaper El Financiero on June 23. “This is the equivalent of 30 centavos (US$0.01) per liter. According to Quintana, the price of gasoline has fluctuated since mid-February, basically following the lead of international prices, which are also linked to movement in the exchange rate. Under the government’s scheme, a ceiling was set for the maximum price for the two grades of gasoline and diesel through Feb. 18. After that date, the maximum price would be allowed to fluctuate on a daily basis, in reactions the global market.With public attention centered on day-to-day price fluctuations, few consumers have noticed that prices are higher than they were a year ago. The high maximum prices allowed the state-run oil company PEMEX to grow its revenues from gasoline sales. The maximum price rose above 16 pesos (US$0.88) per liter this year for magna and above 18 pesos (US$0.98) for premium gasoline.

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