Soaring energy prices particularly affect overseas territories

Inflation exceeds 10% and weighs on the cost of living

Inflation has been particularly virulent in France in recent months. But it does not affect all regions equally. In overseaswhose supply depends on aviation and sea freight, the soaring prices of energy is even more explosive than in France.

In New Caledonia, while the cost of living is already about 30% higher than that of mainland France, prices have for example increased by 18.6% for energy and 5.6% for food, according to the figures from Isee (Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies of New Caledonia). President of the CPME in this South Pacific territory, Yann Lucien is worried about the consequences of this inflation on the companies the most fragile.

Serial shipwrecks for companies

“Companies, which were already in difficulty, could have revived thanks to the PGE (loans guaranteed by the State) taken out during the health crisis, but they are unable to do so because of the impacts of the war in ukraine. All these boxes that were on the tangent are going into liquidation or recovery, ”he testifies.

Despite an agreement on fuels along with importers, the unions of Rouleurs (small contractors who transport nickel ore on behalf of mining companies) and BTP blocked fuel depots in Nouméa for three days in mid-August to protest against the rise in the price of diesel fuelwhich they believe threatens their business.

Flights in “permanent promotion”

In Polynesia French, the CEO of Air Tahiti Nui, Michel Monvoisin, also notes that with inflation, “it is not profitable for companies to fly to Polynesia. Either companies will stop, or they will make losses”.

While fuel already represents 30% of expenses, these companies cannot increase prices because “there is an air overcapacity to Polynesia” and they are rather “on permanent promotion” to fill their planes. In Guyana, where the economy “is dependent on public procurement”, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Guyana (CCIG) for its part is asking “that inflation be taken into account in the contracts already made, signed , before the price increase”, indicates its president Carine Sinaï-Bossou.

Poverty rate and prices at the pump

Because “at the time when the public contracts were filed, notified, there was less inflation and the business leaders who won them can no longer respond to them at this price today”, explains she.

Individuals are also suffering from this increase in fuel costs in overseas territories. To combat rising prices Mayottewhere the poverty rate is five times higher than that of France, State, Departmental Council and TotalEnergies Mayotte announced on Thursday that their joint work had resulted in a drop in the price of gasoline at the pump of 52 cents (7.4 euro cents per liter thanks to the Departmental Council, 25 cents/L by the State and 20 cents/L by TotalEnergies until October 31).

Regulate prices overseas

The department is making an effort of 1.2 million euros over three months through the dock dues, said its president Ben Issa Ousseni (LR). “Today it’s fuel but we continue to work on other basic necessities here,” said Ben Issa Ousseni, calling on the port management company and the island’s distributors to join this movement. and “contribute to the effort on prices in the territory”.

Prefect Thierry Suquet reminded him of the signing of the Quality Price Shield (BQP) during the visit of the Minister Delegate for Overseas Territories Jean-Francois Carenco in the territory on August 22. Set up in 2012, the BQP is a system for regulating the price increases of certain basic necessities, specific to overseas territories. On the Minister’s initiative, “we have therefore initiated a process of reflection around BQP +”, with the idea “of introducing into the BQP a qualitative, readable approach”, and the objective of signing it “for the end of September,” said the prefect.

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