Gas stations respond to the Government bonus with increases of between 0.7 and 3.52 cents per liter

The service stations have responded to the discount of 20 cents per liter of fuel approved by the Government and in force since last April 1 with an average price increase of between 0.7 cents per liter in the case of gasoline and 3.52 cents for diesel, according to a study by Esade

According to the National Association of Automatic Service Stations (Aesae), the system of advances established in parallel to the fuel discount, to prevent gas stations from raising their prices, is not "sufficiently agile" to avoid "endangering the financial sustainability of gas stations operating in Spain.

Aesae indicates that, according to its calculations, the gas stations are advancing around 35,000 euros per month, "which represents a significant decrease in their liquidity and, in many cases, by not having it, a search for external financing in financial entities" , which results in indebtedness and financial costs for which they do not receive compensation

In this context, Esade's proposal consists of "extending and improving the design of the advance payment system to independent service stations" to ensure that they do not need to resort to price increases to have short-term liquidity.

Record prices in Spain

The average price of diesel in Spain registered a new historical record last week, reaching 2.1 euros per liter, while that of gasoline fell slightly, which does not prevent both fuels from consolidating above two euros per liter, a level that has been exceeded for several weeks if the bonus is not taken into account.

“In both products, it is the gas stations with lower prices that have reacted much more strongly to the change in policy, increasing their prices. This has meant a compression of the price distribution. Specifically, in the case of diesel, the cheapest gas stations increased their price between five and eight cents per liter“, reveals the report.

“In both products, it is the gas stations with lower prices that have reacted much more strongly to the change in policy, increasing their prices. This has meant a compression of the price distribution. Specifically, in the case of diesel, the cheapest gas stations increased their price between five and eight cents per liter," the report reveals.

In fact, fuel price levels in Spain have consolidated above the average of the countries of the European Union and the Eurozone since the measure came into force, when before it they were traditionally below the average.

However, including it, the average price of a liter of gasoline last week was 11 cents more expensive than in the last week of March (1,818 euros), before the discount began to be applied, with which the increase in prices registered for this fuel since then it has fully absorbed the aid. In the case of diesel, when applying the reduction of 20 cents per liter, its amount would be about six cents higher than the price it marked at the end of March (1,837 euros per liter).

In reference to the impact by type of gas station, the study indicates that large companies "can afford to carry out this strategy of not raising prices, or even lowering them slightly in the case of 95 gasoline" given that they have the margins of their activities of refining as well as with higher previous prices compared to independent service stations. “This relative cheapening of gas stations operated by wholesale operators compared to the rest of the market seems to us to be especially worrying in the medium and long term, since we understand that it can undermine competition in the sector,” warns the study.

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