Friday 3 February 2023

Fuel prices could reach the highest price in history in March

Recope requested a new increase that would see super gasoline reach ¢823 a liter at the pumps, an unprecedented figure in Costa Rica

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3 February 2023 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – The cost of a liter of super gasoline could reach, in a few weeks, the highest price in history in Costa Rica.

The Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo (Recope) – the Costa Rican Oil Refinery that refines nothing – on Friday made a request to the Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos (Aresep) – Regulatory Authority of Public Services, a new increase of up to ¢58 per liter in the case of super, ¢57 for regular and ¢54 for diesel.

When not if, the latest gasoline price increase request is approved, the cost of a liter of super gasoline will reach the unprecedented figure of ¢823 colones per liter

If this increase is approved, which is unlikely it will not, super would go from the current ¢765 to ¢823, an unprecedented figure in the country.

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The three highest prices that have been recorded in the history of this fuel were reported in July 2014 (¢816), October 2012 (¢786) and the current month (¢765).

The most worrying thing is that all the factors that influence the price of fuel, at this time, point to continue rising. It is not even ruled out that the price of the super could reach ¢900 per liter before the middle of the year.

One option to lower rates would be to reduce the tax charged or reduce the State refinery’s operating costs, but at the moment there is no proposal or political will in this regard

This is confirmed by the fact, that on Friday, fuel prices ¢5 in the price of a liter of super gasoline, ¢4 for regular gasoline, and ¢3 for diesel, due to an adjustment in the single fuel tax made by the Ministry of Finance.

This increase request is the second for the year, on January 14 the Recope requested an increase of ¢46 in the price of a liter of super gasoline, ¢47 for regular gasoline and a drop of ¢57 for diesel, which was approved and went into effect earlier this month.

Recope justifies the increases with its two main reasons: the escalation of international crude oil prices, and the behavior of the exchange rate in the country.

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The Aresep how has 15 days to respond to Recope’s request and publish its decision in the official newspaper La Gaceta. This means that consumers will feel the change during the first week of March.



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