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This year’s first price increase at the pump could start next month

February 13, 2015

The National Oil Refinery (RECOPE) on Friday filed its first request of the year for a fuel price increase, which would take effect in March, if approved.

The Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) will evaluate the request over the next two weeks. If accepted, a liter of “Super” gasoline would increase by 6 percent, from ₡537 to ₡569 ($1.01-1.07). “Plus” would increase by 7.5 percent, from ₡503 to ₡541 ($0.95-1.02), while diesel would increase by 4 percent, from ₡474 to ₡493 ($0.89-0.93).

RECOPE’s request states that the price hike is necessary due to increasing prices in international markets from Jan. 29 to Feb. 13. The reference barrel price in that period jumped from $57 to $66 for “Super,” $52 to $63 for “Plus,” and $66 to $72 for diesel.

The agency also argued that a workers’ strike in several U.S. refineries since Feb. 1 is threatening the supply of nearly 64 percent of finished products.

The fuel increase would be the first in eight months, following eight consecutive decreases approved by ASEREP since last July.

At the time, fuel prices reached record highs for Costa Rica with per-liter prices costing ₡816 ($1.54) for “Super,” ₡788 ($1.48) for “Plus” and ₡676 ($1.27) for diesel.

The first decrease approved this year, in force since Jan. 15, was the biggest cut in the past five years.

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