Oil bill will reach US$4.6 billion this year

If oil prices stabilize at current levels and considering the fact that at the end of September the cost of oil for the Dominican Republic had reached US$3.448 billion, according to the Central Bank, then by the end of the year the country will have used oil to the tune of US$4.6 billion.

According to El Nuevo Diario, this year the country consumed an additional US$847 million in crude oil over the first nine months, compared to 2010. The higher crude oil prices, combined with the higher prices on the commodity markets for raw materials and foodstuffs such as corn, soybeans, milk and edible oils have had a negative influence on the Dominican economy. The global economic crisis, which started back in 2008 in the United States, affected the price of oil, and prices reached US$147 a barrel.

Dominican budget planners had pegged oil prices for the 2011 budget year at US$78 a barrel, but the civil uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya have upset the market and the average price has been above US$90 dollars for some time. The newspaper says that the Dominican Republic imports 154,000 barrels of oil and petroleum products a day.