Gasoline prices increase by up to 24%

Monday, February 17, 2003

The price of gasoline in Guatemala has increased 13-24% following the application of distribution tariffs on oil derivatives, local press reported.

The price of a gallon of regular gasoline increased 13% to around US$2.24 while super gasoline increased 24% to around US$2.30.

The new distribution tariff system charges US$0.59 and US$0.60 a gallon on regular and super respectively. The charges came into force on Saturday after being approved recently by congress.

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Guatemala's mines and energy ministry however argued that the price increases due to variations in oil prices in the international marketplace rather than the new tariffs, Mexican newspaper El Informador reported.

The increase is expected to last for only 10-15 days before prices normalize, because gasoline currently on sale factors in a 40% import tariff that is due to be removed and incorporated with the oil derivative distribution tariffs as a single unified tax, the paper said.