The latest request by Recope could see a drop in gasoline prices before the end of the month

Q COSTA RICA – Good news for drivers, gasoline prices may drop by the end of the month, following a request by the state refinery, the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo (Recope), for reduction of ¢23 and ¢25 colones for a litre of regular and super, respectively and ¢4 for diesel.

If approved by the regulating authorities, the Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos (Aresep), the change should go in effect before the end of the February, when the new prices at the pumps would be:

  • ¢595 for a litre of super, down from the ¢620 today
  • ¢568 for regular, down from the current ¢591
  • and ¢485 for diesel

The difference is ¢1,125 colones less to fill a 45 litre tank with super; ¢1,035 less with regular; and ¢180 for diesel.

However, the drop could be lower than this request, given that the Aresep still has to rule on the hike request from last December 9 to take into account rising operations costs at the Recope.

How are gasoline prices determined in Costa Rica?

The Recope is the state entity that buys, imports and distributes fuels in the country. Gasoline stations purchase fuel from the Recope and sells at prices set by the Aresep, another state agency.

On each second Friday of each month, the Recope makes its request to the Aresep for an adjustment in the price of fuels. The request takes into account items such as the international price of oil (and fuels), the dollar exchange rate in the country and other things.

The Aresep then has up to 15 days to hold public hearings on the request, after which it defines the prices to be paid by the consumer, issues the notice which has to then be published in the official government newsletter within 5 wording days of the notice. The following the publication, the new prices take effect.

So, it takes at least three weeks a price change to take place: let us a few days to a week for the Recope to analyze, prepare and submit the request, then 15 days for the Aresep process and up to a week (5 working days) for the national printer to make the whole process official.

Meanwhile, there could be a drastic change in the prices on the international markets, which can be beneficial for the consumer in Costa Rica because a change takes weeks while we pump cheaper fuel. However, not so good when it is the other way around, while the world is pumping cheaper fuels, we in Costa Rica are paying the higher prices to fill our tanks.

The price of fuel at the pumps is the same at each and every gasoline station across the country.

It’ll all come out in the wash … but … what is your opinion. Use the comments section below or post to our official Facebook page.