State-controlled oil company YPF is raising its gas prices. The company is the last of the major oil companies in Argentina to increase prices, so the move was pretty much expected. Only last week, Clarín posted an article titled, “Only YPF is left: Axion raises gas prices 5 percent.” Well, it looks like they spoke too soon.
As Oil, Shell, Axion, and now YPF are now adjusting gas prices, each company has done so just enough to undercut their competitors. YPF raised prices 4.94 percent for diesel fuel and 4.48 percent for premium gas, just under last week’s Axion markup, which was between 5 and 5.8 percent. Shell and Oil increased prices by 6 percent.
“The market expected this because the rest of the oil companies had already done it. Finally, YPF came out with an increase lower than their competitors,” said Oscar Díaz, the secretary of CECHA, an organization that defends the interests of the oil and gas industry. “Taking into account that YPF has more than half the [Argentine] market right now, we’ll have to see how the other companies react.”
Oil companies are starting to raise prices without publicly announcing their moves, which up until now, hadn’t happened under the Macri administration. According to the oil companies, the new market conditions mean they have to do this to compete.