Tuesday, November 28

Diesel and gasoline have been subsidized for a month. We are already paying more than €1.80 cents again

The news jumped on March 28 and began to apply on April 1. Since then, diesel and gasoline have been subsidized with 20 cents/litre. Before the month is over, we already pay the same price for fuel as before the implementation of the new rule.

more expensive than ever. The weekly bulletin of the European Union collects figures never seen for our country. It shows what an average Spaniard pays for fuel. This week a liter of diesel is being paid at 1,847 euros/litre. A price never seen. Gasoline stands at 1,817 euros/litre, also very close to its maximum limit.

the grant. Images at gas stations are even more striking. And it is that in the informative panels this discount is not applied. The discount of 20 cents/liter is only indicated on the replacement invoice. Of that amount, the State contributes 15 cents/liter and the oil companies have to contribute 5 cents/liter.

The climb. Shortly after the measure took effect, fuel prices eased, albeit very little. The first week with the subsidy was reflected in an average price of 1,647 euros/liter for diesel and 1,613 euros/liter for gasoline. Specifically, a difference of 19 cents/liter for diesel compared to the previous week and 18 cents/liter for gasoline.

The respite lasted another week and extended during Holy Week. In the following bulletin (April 11), the EU collects prices of 1,614 euros/liter for diesel and 1,591 euros/liter for gasoline. Since then no new data had been published. Now, diesel is again 23 cents more expensive and gasoline another 20 cents more expensive.

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Ups and downs. Diesel has once again set an all-time high and gasoline is going the same way. And yet, a barrel of Brent costs practically the same as it did a month ago. As I am writing this, the maximum reached today was 109.79 euros. On March 30, it was worth 112.76 euros. In this period it has reached a minimum of 97.57 euros on April 11.

And, at the same time, the price of gasoline has not only remained unchanged with the drop in a barrel of Brent, it has also become more expensive by another 20 cents with the new rise in the futures market for this value. With the subsidy, we are already paying the same as a month ago despite the fact that a barrel of Brent is slightly cheaper than a month ago. Without it we would pay another 20 cents more per liter.

The French case. Shortly before the intervention of the Spanish Government, in France it was decided to apply a very similar reduction, although in this case of 15 cents/liter of fuel. The March 28 bulletin stated that France paid 2,116 euros/liter for diesel and 2,004 euros/liter for gasoline. The latest report shows that, on average, a French driver pays 1,876 euros/liter of diesel and 1,790 euros/liter of gasoline. That is to say, 24 cents/liter less in diesel and 21 cents/liter less in gasoline when compared to the entry into force of the subsidy.

International market. The shadow of a possible veto on Russian oil continues to cause consequences on the market. The American company Marathon Petroleum has needed to buy more oil from Ecuador. A movement that guarantees supply if the Russian tap is closed in the future.

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OPEC, however, is producing 1.45 million barrels per day less than expected by its own forecasts. And at the same time, the United States and Europe are releasing energy reserves to decompress the pressure on the market. The political instability of Libya has come to close oil wells and reduce its production capacity by half, standing at around 500,000 barrels per day.

The gasoline subsidy is a risky move: the market is moving towards scarcity and higher prices

marked. Despite the international context, the large ones mentioned are the energy companies. In the United States, measures are being considered so that the Federal Trade Commission can exercise greater control over fuel prices, even applying sanctions of two million dollars a day in the event of demonstrating manipulation of market prices. In fact, the US energy sector is the one that has grown the most in the last year.

In Spain, it is not the first time that oil companies have been singled out. The Government has already warned that the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) would carefully monitor the evolution of the market. After the announcement of the subsidy, significant price increases were already reported and the CNMC assures that, between 2013 and 2020, the net profits of service stations increased between 11 and 21%. The employers, however, put the increase in profits at 2%.

Photo | GTRES

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