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Are Tongan fuel prices reasonable?

Pagopago, American Samoa


Interesting reading the article Tonga petrol prices drop slightly for January-February 2013

I think the public would like to know what the other islands in the region are paying for their petrol (fuel).  Effective on January 16, 2013, the retail prices for American Samoa are Petrol $1.69/litre, Diesel $1.82/litre, Kerosene $1.78/litre. Wholesale prices are; Petrol $1.54/litre , Diesel $1.63/litre, Kerosene $1.55/litre.  All prices are in Tongan Pa’anga per litre.

Also efective in January 2013 retail prices in Fiji is petrol FJ$2.44/litre, diesel FJ$2.23/litre. Samoa petrol ST$3.10/litre, diesel ST$3.14/litre.

These islands (Tonga, Samoa and Fiji) are supplied by either PE SWP or TOTAL or both.  All supplies come out of Singapore on MR tankers that drop off loads in Vuda, Suva, Pago and Samoa.  Tonga’s fuel is then shipped from Suva or Vuda by LCTs to Touliki.

I understand that Tonga is trying to adopt the Samoa model for its fuel supply, a move that I strongly opposed but I have no say in the matter.  At the end of the day, for obvious economic reasons, each country wants an uninterrupted supply of high quality fuel at the most reasonable price.

In US dollars per gallon Tonga is paying US$6.81/gallon for petrol and US$7.03/gallon for diesel, exchange rate US$1 = TOP$1.55. There will be riots in American Samoa, and anywhere in the United States for that matter, if price gets that high here.  As a Tongan, still supporting my father who lives in Tonga, I can’t figure out how he is able to keep his vehicle on the road at that price. It appears that American Samoa has the lowest price for its fuel in our region yet there are complaints from the public and concerns from the government. American Samoa fuel price is not subsidized by the US government as people may have been led to believe.

Just wondering who is negotiating Tonga’s fuel price? Are the prices reasonable?

- Sione Lousiale Kava