Cielo Vista

Gas Prices Drop; More Cuts on the Way?

December 19, 2008

The fifth fuel price reduction of the year arrived at gas stations last week, to the delight of drivers across Costa Rica.

Prices dropped by ¢150 (about 27 U.S. cents) per liter for super and regular – now called “gasoline plus” – and ¢87 for diesel.

For the latest price slash, the Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) focused on the value of the colón against the dollar during the Oct. 30-Nov. 13 period.

This period represents a new calculation method, which has fueled some debate.

Several Costa Ricans contacted the country’s official price regulator to express disagreement with its new 15-day criteria, recommending 10 days as a maximum period instead, according to a Dec. 15 ARESEP report.

Three individuals urged ARESEP to consider the U.S. model, in which prices are set by supply and demand, when formulating appropriate criteria for deciding the cost of gas.

Consumer Oscar Granados, however, was satisfied with the price drop, noting that reduced fuel prices would keep the cost of basic goods from rising.

Last weekend’s price drop marked the most significant gasoline decrease this year.

Just before the pump prices went down, the National Oil Refinery submitted another request for a slight decrease, asking ARESEP to cut super and regular by almost ¢66 per liter and diesel by another ¢98.

–Vanessa I. Garnica

 

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