By Chris King • 07 July 2022 • 19:03
Image of petrol station pumps.
image: creative commons 2.0
According to the latest data published by the European Union (EU) Oil Bulletin today, Thursday, July 7, fuel prices in Spain have fallen slightly in the last week. Petrol stands at an average of €1,912/litre, and diesel at €1,876/litre. This price is after the government’s 20 cents per litre discount is applied.
This average fuel cost is based on prices registered at more than 11,400 petrol stations across the country, between June 28 and July 4. Without the 20 cents discount then both fuels would have exceeded the €2/litre mark.
Petrol has now dropped for two consecutive weeks, this time by another 0.8 per cent. Diesel however has fallen for the first time in three months, leaving it 1.3 per cent cheaper than the previous week. Despite these lower prices, petrol in Spain is still at its fourth-highest level in history, while diesel is at its second-highest.
To cushion the impact that the rise in fuel prices is having on consumers, the Government recently extended the bonus of 20 cents per litre until the end of the year.
Since the start of January, petrol has gone up by 29 per cent, and diesel by 39 per cent. Filling a 55-litre tank with petrol will cost €105, an increase of €24. With diesel, it would cost €103, a rise of €29. The discount from the government means a saving of €11 on a tank of either fuel.
Although Spain has seen historical highs in fuel costs, after the discount, it is still cheaper than the European average. According to EU statistics, petrol stands at €1,993/litre, and €1,997 for diesel.
A recent study carried out by EsadeEcPol – an independent and interdisciplinary think tank based in Madrid – revealed that since the introduction of the fuel discount, Spanish petrol stations have actually increased their prices. Petrol was found to have gone up by 0.7 cents, and diesel by 3.52 cents.
Some of the stations that were cheaper before the discount came into force, were found to have put diesel up by as much as between five and eight cents per litre. Contrary to belief, it was been the independent stations and, to a lesser extent, the retail distributors that are part of the network of large companies, that captured a greater part of the discount.
According to the study, these results are possibly caused by the government’s refund policy, which they said: “has proved insufficient in the case of independent gas stations with lower prices”. It only led these stations: “to increase prices as a way to guarantee said liquidity”.
This situation “would affect large companies to a much lesser extent”, with the experts warning that “this relative advantage for wholesale operators could undermine competition in the sector in the medium and long term”.
To correct this problem, EsadeEcPol has proposed that refunds be paid every fifteen days as opposed to the current four weeks, to guarantee the liquidity of small businesses, which will subsequently help the discount reach consumers without the need to increase prices, as reported by diariodesevilla.es.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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