Competition rules out that gas stations take advantage of the premium to raise prices

Competition rules out that gas stations take advantage of the premium to raise prices

A driver refuels at a gas station. / RS

considers that the margins obtained by oil companies since the beginning of the war in Ukraine are no different from those applied in recent years

Jose Maria Waiter

Petrol stations are not taking advantage of the application of the 20 euro cents per liter rebate authorized by the government to increase the price of fuel and generate more revenue. This is, at least, the conclusion reached by the National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC), through the periodic reports it prepares after having supervised spending until May.

With the information gathered to date, the Commission concludes that in general “the market for the distribution of fuel through service stations appears to transfer the rebate to the consumer”. The report also points out that “it does not exclude” that “an individual service station has absorbed part” of the government aid and has increased its margins. But, he adds, these are particular cases and not in a generalized way.

This conclusion comes after the suspicions alerted by consumer associations and even the remark made by Vice-President Nadia Calviño with regard to the oil companies, warning them that if they took advantage of this situation, measures would be taken against them.

Competition fines six major construction companies $200m for closing deals

However, the competition considers that “the margins accumulated in the first five months of this year are very similar to the average gross margin of 2021”, they indicate in the body chaired by Cani Fernández. “And this despite the fact that this year there are new fuel obligations,” they add. This average margin is 11.2% for each liter of gasoline and more than 14% for diesel, similar percentages to last year, before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The CNMC warns that the high volatility in international fuel prices “advises caution” when assessing the behavior of fuel prices and the profits generated by companies until last May. Because “they record upward and downward oscillations, depending on the month assessed”.

The data accumulated in this first week of July already indicates a change of context, at least for the moment, in terms of fuels. After a barrel of Brent fell 20% in one week to $100, fuel prices are starting to reflect these declines, but slowly. It is the fear of what is known as the “rocket and boom effect”: the perception that prices rise rapidly and fall gradually.

In this sense, the CNMC points out that what there is “is a lag” between the moment when the oil falls and the reality is reflected in the pump. “With the volatilities that exist at the moment, it is impossible” to transfer it quickly, almost instantly, they underline in the organization.

The average price of diesel and gasoline has fallen slightly this week in Spain, although both fuels remain above two euros per litre, a level they have been above for several weeks. Specifically, the average price per liter of gasoline this week stood at 2.112 euros, after registering a drop of 0.75% compared to seven days ago, according to data from the Petroleum Bulletin of the Union. European. In this way, it has already accumulated two consecutive weeks of declines.

In the case of diesel, the average price per liter settled this week at 2.076 euros, after registering a drop of 1.14%, making it the first time that it has been eased since the end of May.

This average amount includes taxes, but does not reflect the rebate in effect since April 1 of at least 20 cents per litre, since there are higher rebates, depending on the oil company and promotions for customers. faithful.

Counting on this subsidy, the price of a liter of gasoline would be 9 cents more expensive than the last week of March (1,818 euros), before the discount began to be applied, with which the price increase recorded by this fuel since then has totally absorbed the aid.

As for diesel, by applying the reduction of 20 cents per litre, its amount would be nearly four cents higher than the price it marked at the end of March (1,837 euros per litre).

Compared to the same week a year ago, the average price per liter of gasoline has become 51.83% more expensive, while in the case of diesel it is 65.55% more expensive, but without taking into account the bonus currently in effect.

#Competition #rules #gas #stations #advantage #premium #raise #prices

Leave a Comment