Bacchus tells retailers – absorb loss; sell  LPG at new prices
February 20, 2015
Bacchus tells retailers – absorb loss; sell LPG at new prices

Retailers of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) have been advised to absorb the loss and sell their old stock at the new prices with immediate effect.

Speaking on the Shake Up Programme on WE FM on Wednesday, February 18, president of the Consumers Association Junior Bacchus chided retailers for still selling LPG at the previous higher{{more}} prices; insisting that they should have been monitoring regional and international price changes, and preparing for that to “inevitably” be put in effect in SVG.

“They should be monitoring price changes and decide what kind of stock they should carry, based on what the trends look like… If business people are not using intelligence to monitor prices across the world… then that is their fault. They will have to take the rap for that,” he insisted.

Bacchus pointed out that when LPG prices have gone up in the past, retailers immediately apply the price increase to the old stock, therefore, the same principle should be applied now that the prices have decreased.

“It is fair that the consumers be given the benefit of the new price,” he asserted. “I cannot understand how persons could be arguing now for them to sell out at the old price.

“They [retailers] should be able to absorb that loss, because they gain when the price went up when they had wholestock.”

Bacchus urged consumers who are forced to buy LPG at the higher prices (since the decrease was implemented) to take their receipts to the Ministry of Trade and Consumer Affairs to lodge their complaints, so that retailers can be made to answer for going against the revised price control order.

Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace, in response to the pricing dilemma faced by retailers, said on the New Times radio programme on Monday that the Government should have discussed the price drop with them in advance.

Many retailers also feel that they should be given the opportunity to sell their old stock at the higher price, and the new stock at the lower price.

In response, Bacchus said that having worked in the area of consumer affairs for over 20 years, it has never been a practice nor stipulation of the Government to discuss price changes with retailers.

“You have to be fair and… do what is best for the consumer!”

On Friday last week, the Government announced that effective Monday, February 16, the maximum retail price for 20-pound cylinders of LPG (cooking gas) had been reduced to $29 (Areas I and II), $30 (Area III) and $33 (Area IV), down from $41.80 and higher.

25-pound cylinders are now $36.25 in areas I, II and II and $39.25 in Area IV. 100-pound cylinders are at $138 (Areas I, II and III) and $159 (Area IV).