Gas price drop won’t benefit motorists here for awhile

The price of gasoline has dropped about $16 a barrel, but motorists here will have to wait for a month before the pump price reflects the decrease.

The nation’s price setting agency said Monday that the drop in international gasoline prices was due to a higher inventory and level demand. The agency, the Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos plans to issue a price change Friday. These actions always are announced on the second Friday of each month.

But the prices will not take effect for three weeks more, the agency noted.

Another factor that the agency will have to consider is a slight increase in the dollar-colon exchange rate. The exchange rate increased more than four colons to 539.98 colons to the dollar Monday. That makes gasoline more expensive to purchase here.

Gasoline is measured by the barrel, and the average price of a barrel of super now is $63.15, about $17.48 less than the average price in August. Plus is $60.05 per barrel, down $15.28 from August, said the agency.

Diesel users are not as lucky, That fuel has increased slightly due to lower inventories, said the agency.

Costa Rica imports all its petroleum-based fuels. The country has resisted proposals to drill offshore or in the northern zone. The Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo S.A. does not do any refining these days. The state petroleum monopoly simply imports the fuel and distributes it.

The agency has been criticized lately for its agreements that are highly favorable to its employees and also the salaries of its executives.

Costa Rica has the highest gasoline prices in Central America, according to online statistics.

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