Increases in gasoline prices are kicking into effect. (Photo via Noticias Argentinas / Hugo Villalobos)

Expected increases in the price of gas have started to kick in, with at least two companies raising prices in recent days and more expected in the near term.

Infobae has reported that Shell, which has the most expensive gasoline prices in the country, has raised its prices. The increases have varied according to the neighborhood but in some stations the price of a liter of so-called super gas has risen from AR $22.94 to AR $24.32, a 5.84 percent increase. Premium gas increased from AR $26.81 per liter to AR $28.42, another 5.83 percent according to Clarín.

Shell has roughly 21 percent of the Argentina market share, whereas state-run YPF has just about 55 percent of the total. YPF also sells the cheapest gasoline and increases are expected to take place in the coming days. Currently the price of a liter of super gasoline in Buenos Aires City at a YPF station is about AR $22.66, seven percent less than Shell’s updated prices. Oil, a minor player in the market, has already increased its prices according to Clarín.

Increased had been expected, even if they came soon after increases in December. Higher prices for barrels of crude oil, the depreciation of the peso and the recent lifting of price controls have been suggested as explanations for the increases.

Asked today about the increases, Cabinet Chief Marcos Peña responded that “we’re experiencing a global increase in the price of oil, that’s a fact and we can’t deny it. We are working on the sector in general in order to see the best way to build a policy that allows for information, transparency and market competition so that it affects the pockets of the Argentines to the least extent possible, but also bearing in mind that the costs are costs and we have to live with that.”