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HomeNewsArchivesDLCA Asks Hovensa Why Fuel Prices are Not Decreasing in the V.I.

DLCA Asks Hovensa Why Fuel Prices are Not Decreasing in the V.I.

Commissioner Wayne Biggs of the V.I. Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs has requested all information regarding Hovensa’s "pricing mechanism for the sale of fuel in the Virgin Islands" by no later than Nov. 3.

Biggs’ letter to Hovensa, which can be seen here, expresses concern that the company’s fuel prices have remained unchanged over the last few weeks even though worldwide prices have decreased.

In the letter to Richard Layton, Hovensa’s manager of accounting and warehouse, the commissioner said his department monitors gasoline and crude oil prices over a number of Internet sites.

"These sites show a steady decrease in fuel prices worldwide and we have become increasingly concerned that the consumers of the territory are not realizing these decreases that have materialized in other jurisdictions in the United States," he said. The Commissioner’s letter to Layton is dated Oct. 22.

Biggs acknowledged that his department does not claim to possess all information concerning factors that influence fuel prices, and that the pricing mechanism used in the United States is adjusted daily. Hovensa, on the other hand, adjusts prices on a weekly basis.

"This means that any change of prices by Hovensa will most likely take effect at least one week later than in the states. All the reports indicate, however, that the decrease in fuel prices worldwide have been occurring for the last seven to 10 weeks while Hovensa’s pricing has remained constant," Biggs said.

Hovensa submits weekly reports to the department.

Biggs stressed that DLCA is mandated to protect V.I. consumers from price fixing and other deceptive trade practices.

The commissioner added, "We take this opportunity to point out that the department is not embarking on an investigation of Hovensa and its business activities but merely is trying to ensure that the consumers of the Virgin Islands are not shortchanged in any way with respect to the price they are paying for fuel."

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