Mexico fuel price database site outage continues
Petroleumworld 03 21 2019
Mexico's fuel retailers have had less information about what competitors are charging nationwide for several days as a public database of station-level prices has been down since late last week.
Energy regulatory agency CRE said a technical issue caused the database outage, now in its sixth day. But fuel retailers' association Onexpo said it was told the site will be up later today or early tomorrow after CRE adds municipality-level reference wholesale prices based on state-owned Pemex prices, as well as retail reference prices, to the data.
CRE did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Argus on the possibility of additional data.
The CRE maintains the database of prices that retailers have been required to report since the country lifted fuel price caps in 2017. The online portal retailers use to report prices to CRE appears to continue to operate. But with the database offline, retailers have only been able to monitor prices by looking at signs on nearby competing retail stations.
Retailers in the past could use the CRE's GasoApp mobile app, but it feeds off of the same data source that has been out of service.
The wholesale fuel price recently gained greater weight as Mexico's government changed the formula it uses to set deductions from the fuel excise tax (IEPS) to base it more heavily on wholesale instead of retail margins, as reported by CRE.
The retail reference price would reflect average logistics costs and profit margins for the country's 2,457 municipalities outside of Mexico City, and 16 divisions within the capital city known as political delegations. Onexpo said that it is not clear how the reference prices would be calculated.
Each municipality's data will be linked to one of Pemex's 76 fuel storage and distribution terminals.
"Basically Mexico's finance ministry sets the wholesale fuel price [for state-run Pemex to sell]," said Onexpo's technical and regulatory director Victor Arellano. "What the retail station owner does to get a final consumer price is add a profit margin and logistics costs to that price."
Argus Mexico Fuel Markets has continued to publish its average of the most recent retail fuel price data available for major consumption hubs, excluding prices that have not been updated in five business days, per methodology.
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