The last price update occurred on January 19 and the Ministry of Energy considered an increase necessary
Just one day before the beginning of autumn and the arrival of ‘cooler’ temperatures, the Government announced an increase in the maximum reference prices for 10, 12 and 15 kilo carafes for fractionators, distributors and sales to the public, as well such as butane and propane for producers adhering to the Hogar program. The same, according to what was communicated by the Secretary of Energy, will be 10% and will have the detail of being retroactive to March 1.
Through resolution 168/2023, published in the Official Gazette, the Ministry of Energy updated the amounts in force since February that had been established in resolution 62/2023. In addition, through resolution 167/2023 and in view of the current economic context, assistance of $351,968,724.86 was authorized for eleven producing companies, with the purpose of ensuring the supply of jugs in low-income households.
Thus, after the publication of this document, the maximum reference price for the 10-kilo carafe became $667 as of March 1 (against $606 previously) for fractionators, and $1,171 ($1,064 previously) for dealers, and $1,229 (previous $1,118) for sale to the public.
The Ministry of Energy ordered a 10% increase, retroactive to March 1
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In the case of 12-kilo units, the maximum prices went from $728 to $800, from $1,277 to $1,405 and from $1,341 to $1,475; while in those of 15 kilos from $910 to $1,000, from $1,597 to $1,756 and from $1,677 to $1,844, respectively, always in the values from February 1 to the new ones from March 1.
Meanwhile, the maximum reference price per ton of butane and propane for producers will be $35,672, in accordance with the provisions of the resolution’s annexes.
In its recital, the resolution explains that the established maximum reference prices play a fundamental role in order to effectively comply with the objectives outlined in Law 26,020″, on the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Industry and Commercialization Regime.
The measure was formalized through Resolution 168/2023, published today in the Official Gazette, which updates the amounts in force since February that had been established in resolution 62/2023
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Among these objectives “mainly stands out, to ensure the economic supply of LPG to low-income residential social sectors that do not have natural gas service through networks,” added the measure.
At the beginning of the year, on January 19 precisely, the last price update was produced. The Ministry of Energy considered that an increase was necessary, “taking into account the variation experienced in the values associated with the production of LPG, as well as in the costs observed in the segments of fractionation, distribution and retail trade”, although “always maintaining the protection of vulnerable users through the Home Program”.
But beyond the increases, the sector may suffer other problems, such as the lack of supply. Exactly one month ago, the Chamber of Argentine Liquefied Gas Companies (Cegla) stated that they produced with an operating loss.
The same chamber, which brings together 17 SMEs that fractionate butane LPG into bottles, had warned of an imminent “supply break”, especially in the most remote areas of the country.
As explained in a statement, the sector produces with an operating loss as a result of the official measure Home Program. To ensure that low-income households -residing in areas not supplied by network gas service or that are not connected to the network- can access differential prices for bottles, the Government subsidizes users through the Home Program , while fractionators and the rest of the industrial chain are compensated with Transitory Economic Assistance (AET).
According to the sector’s claim, this compensation has not been met for months and there are companies that have not received these funds since April 2022. From the Ministry of Economy they argued that the delay responds to the fact that the companies did not deliver the corresponding delivery certificates to the Undersecretary of Fuels, while the Secretariat of Energy did not respond to a query on this issue.
Now, the sector expects the situation to improve as a result of the increases in the Maximum Reference Prices.
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