High Gas Prices Affect Consumption

June 25, 2004

THE high oil prices reported duringthe past five months are starting to havean effect on Costa Rican gasoline consumption,according to the Costa RicanPetroleum Refinery (RECOPE).In May, RECOPE’s sales of hydrocarbon-based products (gasoline, diesel,bunker, asphalt and jet fuel) dropped1.66% compared to April.Sales of “regular” gasoline dropped4.40% or by approximately 1.82 millionliters (502,000 gallons). Sales of “super”gasoline dropped 5.61% or by approximately1.65 million (435,000 gallons).Costa Rica consumes between 16 and17 million barrels of oil each year. Each$1 increase in the price of a barrel of oilincreases the country’s trade deficit by asmuch as $17 million, according to theCentral Bank.

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