Fuels take a slight breather for the first time since 2022 began

Fuels take a slight breather for the first time since 2022 began

The price has fallen by just over 1% in the last week, although it is still above 1.81 euros for gasoline and 1.79 euros for diesel

Jose Maria Waiter

Minimal respite in the midst of an unprecedented energy crisis. The price of fuels has fallen slightly in the last week, in line with how oil has been behaving in the international market. Although they continue in very high references. Fuels have fallen for the first time so far this year, after 11 consecutive weeks of increases and after breaking all records due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its impact on rising oil prices.

Specifically, the average price of a liter of gasoline in Spain has moderated to 1.813 euros, which represents a reduction of 1.68% compared to last week, while in the case of diesel it stands at 1.797 euros and the decrease is 1.1%, according to data from the European Union Oil Bulletin published every Thursday. Despite this decrease, so far this year diesel has increased in price by 33.4%, while gasoline has risen by 22.58%.

The energy crisis is indirectly causing the cost of diesel to practically approach that of gasoline, something that has not happened historically. The distance between both fuels was around 10 euro cents. A separation that, today, is practically imperceptible.

These prices continue to be the origin of the protest of the carriers, a sector that is gradually stopping its activity as the days go by, although at first it was a “minority” movement, according to the Government. Precisely from the first hour several ministries are meeting with the large organizations of the sector to agree on aid to cushion this situation.

For every liter of fuel, almost half goes to taxes. Although the Treasury has a limited margin to act in this regard. In the case of VAT, you need the endorsement of Brussels to reduce it from the current 21%, to 10% or 4% super-reduced, in the case of private consumers. Carriers and other groups can deduct the VAT they pay, with a fiscally neutral effect. The other tax figure is the Special Tax on Hydrocarbons. In gasoline it is 47 cents per liter, and could drop to 36 cents, the minimum allowed by the EU. In diesel, it is 37 cents, compared to the minimum of 33 cents of the community euro.

The price of fuels gave a truce at the end of 2021, when it chained up to five weeks of falls, and since the beginning of this year this is the first week in which it has stopped its climb.

The drop in the price of fuel occurs despite the rise in the price of a barrel of Brent, which after the start of the war in Ukraine climbed to 131 dollars, then fell below 100 dollars and since this week it has remained around 120 dollars. This same Thursday it is trading above that reference.

The price of fuels depends on multiple factors, such as its specific price (independent of that of oil), the evolution of crude oil, taxes, the cost of raw materials and logistics, and gross margins.

Filling an average 55-litre petrol tank now costs around 99.72 euros, about 27 euros more than a year ago, while in the case of refueling with diesel it amounts to about 98.84 euros, about 33.3 euros more than in the same week of 2021.

With this new rise in fuel prices, filling the tank this week is 37.24% more expensive than a year ago in the case of gasoline and 50.75% higher in the case of diesel.

Despite these levels, the price of unleaded gasoline of 95 is in Spain below the average of the European Union, located at 1,949 euros per liter, and of the euro zone, with an average price of 2.04 euros . Something similar happens in the case of diesel, since the price in the EU is 1,939 and two euros in the euro zone.

The lower level of final prices with respect to surrounding countries is due to the fact that Spain, despite the VAT increases, higher taxes and levies on biodiesel, continues to have a lower fiscal pressure, in general, than the average community.

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