QCOSTARICA – The honeymoon of gasoline price reductions is over. On Friday, the regulatory agency, the Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos (Aresep), approved a gasoline price increase that is to take effect this coming week.

The Aresep approval will increase the price of super gasoline by ¢42 colones; ¢31 for regular; and ¢19 for diesel.

The new prices, when they take effect, will see the price of a litre of super go from the current ¢536 to ¢570, regular from ¢503 to ¢545, and diesel from ¢474 to ¢493.

Aresep spokesperson, Carolina Mora, explained that the increase is based on international pricing due to maintenance costs experienced by U.S. refineries.

The Aresep approval is expected to be sent on Monday to the La Gaceta, the official government newsletter, for publication within five business days.

You can bet the price increase will happen before the weekend, if not sooner.

Costa Rica’s state refinery, the Refinadora Costarricense de Petroelo (RECOPE) does not refine anything, it imports the finished fuel for distribution to retailers across the country.

In Costa Rica, the fuel and price is the same at all gasoline retailers regardless of their location or volume of sales. In addition, the cost of the fuel and the margins are the same for all retailers, the variable is their volume.

Editor’s note: One of the constant complaints by business in the decision to close or scale down operations in Costa Rica is high gasoline prices. It appears no on at the high level is listening, fueling bigger economic problems for the country.

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