Venezuela: gas prices jump 60 times in one day

(February 23, 2016)

Venezuela, the country with the largest proven crude oil reserves, significantly increased its gasoline prices last week. The price adjustment, which is the first in 20 years, was part of the government measures to overcome the local economic crisis. The 95-octane gasoline price increased from 0.097 Bolivars to 6 Bolivars, or more than 60 times. The price of 91-octane gasoline also increased while the price of diesel fuel remains unchanged to prevent an increase in the public transport fares and food prices.

Before the fuel price adjustment, the 95-octane gasoline price in Venezuela stood at about 0.02 USD per liter. According to the local press, even with this significant increase, Venezuela will remain the country with the cheapest fuels in the world. It is difficult to determine whether that claim is justified as there are several parallel exchange rates including the official exchange rate and a black market one. At the official exchange rate of 6.3 Bolivars/USD, the price of 95-octane gasoline is 0.95 USD per liter, hardly the cheapest in the world rankings.

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