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Gasoline Prices Drop Again

January 19th, 2009

OuchBetter late than never!  I wonder if there is such a thing as getting  “less screwed”.

While oil prices have dropped from the $145 per barrel levels of just a few months ago, to less than $36.00 per barrel, Costa Rica has been very slow adjusting gas prices here to reflect that decrease. Somebody is making some serious cash, and it is NOT me.  However, prices are due to come down this week.

Today, tomorrow, or perhaps on Wednesday, after publication in La Gaceta, the price of regular will drop to ¢408 per liter, super will run ¢416 and diesel will cost ¢427 per liter.  As many of my readers are metrically challenged (as am I) the formula is One US gallon = 3.79 liters.

So doing the math ( and someone comment please if I screw this up!)!  Using 550 colones/dollar…

  • Regular:  ¢408  x 3.79 liters/gallon = ¢1,546 per gallon or $2.81 per gallon.
  • Super:  ¢416  x 3.79 liters/gallon = ¢1,576 per gallon or $2.87 per gallon.
  • Diesel:  ¢427  x 3.79 liters/gallon = ¢1,618 per gallon or $2.94 per gallon.

This is really incredible!

These prices are just ridiculous and while about half of what they were last July, clearly do not reflect the fact that oil is trading at less than $35.00 per barrel as of today!

$35.00 reflects  a drop of 76%, yet Costa Rica has  not passed this on to Ticos.  In fact,  it has already sent notice that they are considering an increase as soon as next month. Huh?

Sadly, this seems to not be of interest to anyone, and not even the local newspapers care to ask how can this be? I am amazed that La Nacion or Channel 7 news is not asking the government why these prices are so high…. more than double the cost in the USA.  Worse, this is just another nail in the tourism coffin as tourists are now more and more sensitive to travel expenses.

I will admit to not knowing what expenses Costa Rica must incur to bring the oil to this country.  However, as most oil comes from the middle east, I doubt there is a 100% difference in cost. Further, as Venezuela is just down the road (OK OK ocean), cost to import should be less! Finally, labor costs in Costa Rica are but a fraction of those in the USA.

OK… rant over. I still consider myself a guest in this country so I do try to control my complaining, but I would sure like to build a fire under some hotshot reporter who can ask and get some answers from the government.


2 Responses to “Gasoline Prices Drop Again”

  1. Paul Wyatt on January 20, 2009 1:45 pm

    Hi, I live in the Napa Valley Northern California and regular gas up here is currently selling for $1.90. Just returned from LA and it was $169 down there but starting to sneak up. You are really getting screwed.

  2. James Carlton on June 8, 2010 3:07 pm

    I live in the UK where currently, June 2010, it is the equivalent of $6.70 a gallon and that is low because the pound is low. It was pushing $8 a gallon and that is not the most expensive in Europe.

    I should say about $5.50 of that is tax and still the country is broke.

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