The changing face of Mexico's retail gas market. The changing face of Mexico's retail fuel market.

Fuel prices are up due to crude’s recovery

Liberalized market is not responsible for increases, says regulator

Higher retail fuel prices are the result of a recovery in international crude oil prices rather than the liberalization of the Mexican fuel market, according to the president of the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE).


“The increase has been reflected at all gas stations because oil went from US $50 to US $70 [a barrel] and that’s impacting on the final price,” Guillermo García Alcocer said.

García added that no price hikes have been unexplained or unfounded.

Gasoline prices rose 4.7% for magna and 4.1% for premium in January. Year over year they are up 7.7% and 7.3% respectively.

Since November 30, fuel prices have been fully deregulated in all regions of Mexico, meaning that the federal government no longer sets or publishes daily maximum prices.

Market liberalization was rolled out in a staged process across the country as part of a wider energy reform which also opened the retail fuel market to private foreign and national companies.

Private gas stations consequently proliferated in a market until recently monopolized by state oil company Pemex.


There are now more than 30 gas station brands established in the country, according to the federal Energy Secretariat (Sener).

The price motorists pay to fill up is now determined by international oil prices, costs related to refining, transportation and storage as well as commercial margins.

According to the official CRE fuel price application Gasoapp, the highest price for a liter of regular unleaded Magna fuel in Mexico City yesterday was 17.99 pesos (US $0.96, or $3.62 per gallon) at a BP gas station.

The lowest price was 16.35 pesos per liter (US $0.87, or $3.30 per gallon) at a Pemex station.

For premium fuel, the highest and lowest prices were 19.55 pesos per liter (US $1.04, or $3.95 per gallon) and 18.24 pesos per liter (US $0.97, or $3.68 per gallon) respectively.

In relation to liquid petroleum prices, the CRE president said that the market is currently very depressed. García explained that the CRE is monitoring prices and margins in the sector and a mobile application allowing consumers to compare gas prices will soon be released.

While the government was still setting maximum prices last year, García said, the CRE had issued fines totaling 112 million pesos (US $6 million) to retailers who exceeded the set cap and one of the biggest penalties was imposed on a petroleum gas retailer.

Another factor affecting the oil industry in Mexico is fuel theft from Pemex refineries and pipelines, which costs the federal government more than US $1 billion annually in lost revenue.

Large drug cartels have increased their dominance in the lucrative illicit market joining smaller gangs of fuel thieves known as huachicoleros.

Source: Milenio (sp), Reforma (sp)

Stories from our archives that you might enjoy

  • WestCoastHwy

    Sure……now watch me pull a monkey (or Mexican) out of my butt! $2.24 right across the border in Texas.

  • Güerito

    Oil fell from US $60 a barrel in Jan of 2017 to $45 a barrel in July of 2017, a 25% drop in price. Yet gas prices did not fall in Mexico during those six months.

    Energy reform in Mexico has had a curious effect. The “deregulated market” in Mexico seems only to respond to price increases, but never to price decreases.

  • WestCoastHwy

    This article is completely false and miss leading as to why Mexican open market gasoline prices have gone up instead of down. This is down right appalling.

  • DreadFool

    it’ a scam for believers

  • David Nichols

    So the ” international price” caused the “free market prices in Mexico” to go up to $3.30/gallon…
    Meanwhile gasoline prices in Texas dropped 2 cents a gallon last week to an average of $2.50/gallon…
    I guess the additional 80 cents a gallon here in Mexico goes to pay for the fuel stolen by the narcos and of course the politicians share too…