An error occured. Details Hide
You have unsaved pages. Restore Cancel

The Government of Haiti on July 6 imposed price hikes for a variety of fuels, sparking violent protests across the country that cost lives, destroyed property, shut down air traffic, and even caused embassies, business, schools, and other entities to restrict transit and activity in the country. The government increased gasoline prices by 38 percent, kerosene by 51 percent, and diesel by 47 percent.

  • Currently, gasoline costs $0.88 per liter while diesel costs $0.7 per liter, according to Global Petrol Prices. While a relatively low price globally, as one of the world's poorest nations, the rates are still higher than other wealthier countries in the region, such as Trinidad and Tobago, Panama, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Bolivia. Haiti neither produces oil or oil products nor has stocks, making it vulnerable to global price fluctuations.

As a result of the violent response to the fuel price changes, the government temporarily suspended the price reform. The measure, which was a part of a reform plan agreed to with the IMF in March, was designed to increase government revenue and support public investment in areas such as health, education, and public safety. Known as a staff-monitored program, this reform was aimed at improving policy implementation to facilitate financial support from other donors, namely $96 million in loans from the Inter-American Development Bank, World Bank, and European Union.

  • Currently, the Haitian budget is in deficit; one of the factors behind the expanding budget deficit—which is expected to be 2.5 percent of GDP in 2018—is fuel subsidies. In 2015, post-tax fuel subsidies were about $0.34 billion and accounted for 3.6 percent of Haitian GDP, according to the IMF.
  • The IMF and the Haitian government plan to revise the fuel reform so that fuel benefits are reduced more gradually and compensatory mitigating measures can be implemented, such as transport vouchers, to protect the most financially vulnerable citizens.
  • The IMF believes that benefits from subsidies that are keeping fuel prices below market level are disproportionately distributed in favor of the wealthy. That is why the IMF suggested reducing fuel benefits in favor of increased social expenditures.

Download our latest ENERGY Data Brief

Download our one-page PDF full of live links to energy-related data, statistics, and dashboards from leading industry sources to support research and data-based decision making.

Related Data Insights

Chinese Tariffs on US LNG Exports Reshuffling Market Outlook

The US shale production boom and recovery of global oil prices following the global financial crisis of 2007-2008 created an attractive environment for new LNG projects. But continued investment and the trade routes that emerge from contracts between producers and consumers are subject to change, as we are witnessing now in the context of the increasingly acrimonious trade dynamic between the United States and China.   In August, China floated a 25 percent tariff on LNG imports from the United States in response to the mounting use of tariffs by the US Government against Chinese goods, a measure more politically...

United States: The World's Newest Major Exporter of Crude Oil

In June, US crude oil exports reached historic levels at nearly 2.2 million barrels per day (b/d), a level similar to that of Nigeria and Iran. From 1975 until late 2015, a federal ban on the export of US crude oil severely restricted crude oil exports to all countries except Canada. By lifting the ban, the US Government has transformed the United States into a major exporter of crude oil and a force that is reshaping global oil markets. To date in 2018, the United States has averaged more than 1.7 million b/d of crude oil exports while continuing to import an average of 7.9 million b/d.Although Canada remains an...

Australia: Oil Stock Levels Pose a Systemic Economic Risk

Australia is running a continuous and growing deficit in total oil stocks, defying the International Energy Agency's (IEA) mandate on members to maintain 90-days of coverage and perpetuating the country’s vulnerability to swings in global oil markets. Whether global supply imbalances arise from geopolitical discord, OPEC-sanctioned supply adjustments, or other market balance factors, the fact that Australia maintains no strategic reserve and has less than a 50 day supply of oil bodes poorly for the potential cost to the economy in the event of a price spike and potential resulting shortages.Australia is the only...

OPEC Crude Oil Prices

Oil producers market more than 160 unique crude oils today, each varying from light to heavy, with different sulfur levels and other chemical attributes that affect price and market. Only a few individual crudes—particularly Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI)—serve as industry benchmarks. The OPEC Reference Basket (ORB) is another common benchmark.The ORB represents a weighted average of prices for the petroleum blends produced by the 14 member states of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The members are: Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya,...