QCOSTARICA – On Thursday Costa Rica wakes up to a historic price of gasoline and diesel, when at 12:01 am, June 9, the price of a liter of super gasoline will be ¢1,062 colones, regular ¢1,024 and diesel ¢1,012. This after the adjustment was published in the official government newsletter, La Gaceta this morning.
The increases come into force after their approval last Friday by the regulatory authority, the Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos (Aresep).
The Aresep will try to spin this, blaming world energy markets, the dollar exchange, the war between Russia and Ukraine, etc, but it doesn’t change the fact that this is a big blow to the pocketbooks of Costa Ricans and businesses alike.
The high cost of gasoline is the number one factor in the high inflation reported for the month of May.
A report by Repretel on Tuesday noted that if the Refinadora Costarricense de Petroleo (RECOPE) – the Costa Rican refinery that refines nothing – were to actually import and refine crude oil, the price of gasoline at the pumps would be around ¢600 colones.
This is not so because the country has not invested in a new refinery or maintained the one that served the country for years. A while back there was discussion of a deal for a refinery but it went nowhere.
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Meanwhile, the price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), gas used in home and restaurant kitchens across the country, as well as in automobiles converted for LPG use, will have a reduction.
For example, the 25-pound cylinder (the most used in homes) drop ¢796 colones; the price on Thursday will be ¢10,424, down from today’s ¢11,230.
“Right now, world energy markets are trending upwards due to the war in Ukraine.
The good news?
It is expected that for the second half of June, fuels will have a reduction: the liter of super is expected to decrease by ¢28, regular ¢27, and diesel ¢43, this due to changes in the methodology that the Aresep uses to Calculate fuel prices.
However, that reduction may not hit all users, as President Rodrigo Chaves is proposing to ask the Aresep to apply any reduction on super and regular gasoline to diesel. That is, the price of super and regular would be maintained, while that of diesel would drop ¢98 colones.
We will learn of this, or another possible increase on Friday, the second Friday of the month when traditionally the RECOPE makes a price adjustment request to the regulatory authority, with new prices in effect by the end of the month.
This is to alleviate the productive and transport sectors. Taxi drivers, while the majority do not use diesel, want to be included in the President’s proposal.