“Save before you cross” to save money: Americans traveling to Mexico to buy cheap gasoline

“Save before you cross” to save money: Americans traveling to Mexico to buy cheap gasoline

“Save before you cross” to save money: Americans traveling to Mexico to buy cheap gasoline

Fuel prices have risen since the Russian invasion of Ukraine

A sign inviting you to "cross over before charging" at Chevron Gas Station on Agua Caliente Boulevard in Tijuana
A sign inviting you to “cross over before charging” at Chevron Gas Station on Agua Caliente Boulevard in Tijuana’s Cacho District.

The message, which is accompanied by a dollar sign, a drawing of a pump hose and the American flag, is ubiquitous at Tijuana stations in northern Mexico. But there are others: “Here! Cheaper than in the US. “Service and quality,” they said.

They appeal to Mexicans who go to the other side of the border every day, to work in or around San Diego, California. And more and more Americans are moving south Exclusively for the price of gasoline.

“I’re just moving to fill up the fuel tank,” Jason Wells, chief executive of the California Chamber of Commerce, told BBC Mundo San Isidro. He lives in southern San Diego, just a few miles from the line that separates Mexico from the United States. “The tank is full It costs about $ 40 in Tijuana and over $ 120 in San Diego″.

Record prices in California, subsidies in Mexico

For months, the price of gasoline in the United States, as in many countries around the world, has not stopped rising. According to the US Department of Labor, from January 2021 to this year it has grown by 40%.

But the invasion of Russia, the world’s third-largest producer of crude oil, into Ukraine just a month ago has sent prices soaring. And since then he has been breaking records.

Fuel prices have been rising for some time, but have risen sharply since Russia invaded Ukraine.
Fuel prices have been rising for some time, but have risen sharply since Russia invaded Ukraine.

The national average for a gallon (3.78 liters) reached $ 4.33 this month, the highest in 14 years, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). The figure turns pale in comparison to the price In CaliforniaWhich is the highest in the country due to the combination of high taxes and environmental laws.

This Wednesday was paid on average at state gas stations $ 5.91 per gallon, compared to the national average price of $ 4.24. Is included Mexico, The story is different. The government of Andrés Manuel Lპpez Obrador has promised to keep it Prices are controlled by subsidies To the sector.

In March, it refused to impose a Special Tax on Products and Services (IEPS) – a tax paid on the production and sale of gasoline or imports – and the Ministry of Finance issued an additional fiscal stimulus. “The state should not neglect its social responsibility and it is here to protect the people,” the president told a news conference in the middle of the month. “It is not a matter of leaving everything in the hands of the market”.

At the time, he advised his American counterpart, Joe Biden, to set a maximum fuel price.

Increase clientele

“I know that in Mexico from January 3 until the beginning of last week, regular gasoline rose by one peso and 35 cents per gallon, which is about $ 0.10,” he told the BBC. World Alejandro Borja Robles. “In California, it rises to $ 0.70 a week.” Robles is the President of the National Chamber of Commerce (Kanaco) Gas Station Specialized Group in Tijuana.

And what the 266 gas stations your group represents are what they notice in their sales. “Some petrol stations see an increase from 3 to 6 o’clock in the morning. They are people who live in Tijuana and go to work across the border. “Now he fills the tank and not just 200 pesos to cross,” he explained.

A gas station at a station in Silver Spring, Maryland, went out of order, warning consumers of fuel.  Gasoline shortages at the stations extend from the southern United States to the Mid-Atlantic states, where Virginia and Washington have become the worst-hit areas after a cyber attack forced the shutdown of America's largest oil pipeline, the country's gasoline.  (AP Photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta)
A gas station at a station in Silver Spring, Maryland, went out of order, warning consumers of fuel. Gasoline shortages at the stations extend from the southern United States to the Mid-Atlantic states, where Virginia and Washington have become the worst-hit areas after a cyber attack forced the shutdown of America’s largest oil pipeline, the country’s gasoline. (AP Photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta)

“But over the weekend, Premium (91 Octane) sales are rising and you can see more trucks with California plates.” This is a new landscape. “For years it was the other way around,” Robles said.

It was not uncommon for Mexicans living near the border to move north to fill tanks. The trend became more pronounced in 2017, with rising prices following the deregulation of the oil industry.

Hundreds of Mexicans then traveled to refuel in the California city of Calexico, which borders Mexico, Mexico’s northernmost city.

“6% increase in sales”

Patricia Saharagui, Public Relations Manager at Rendichicas Service Station Network, estimates that her stores near the border have seen a 6% increase in sales in the last month.

They have 39 service stations in Baja California, 32 of them in Tijuana. And 75% of the country and 90% of its workers are women. They sell a gallon of regular gasoline for an average of $ 3.88 and a Premium for $ 4.12. They put up billboards that read, “Save your ally on both sides.”

Shopping savings in Tijuana are quite large, up to $ 50-60 “According to the type of car,” he told BBC Mundo.

To the point where Californians specially move (fuel tank) to load. Now They have to stand in line for three hours“To cross the border into the United States.

“The best of both sides”

Julio Vackero does not rule it out. A San Diego resident, he shared a video on TikTok showing him refueling his Honda Civic in Tijuana for $ 40. ”800 pesos. “A full tank,” they said.

A week later he paid $ 70 to fill a tank in California. He lives a 20-minute drive from Tijuana and usually leaves every month, though If prices continue, he will start weekly visits On gasoline he tells the BBC.

“It’s a good thing when you live a Ornational region“, Explains Jason Wells, a representative of the San Isidro Chamber of Commerce. This applies to citizens of both parties who cross the border daily for work, school, family visits, doctor visits, shopping or sightseeing. Now, put gasoline in the cars. “For us, crossing the border is like crossing the street. We get the best from each side, we live the best of both worlds. ”

BBC World

Source: La Nacion

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