Far from slowing down, the rise in fuel prices is gaining momentum. Both gasoline and diesel already exceed an average of 1.8 euros per liter in Spain, according to the latest Petroleum Bulletin of the European Union, published this Thursday and which offers the average fuel prices of the Twenty-seven. Compared to the previous week, gasoline has become more expensive by around 10%, while diesel has increased by 15%. Spain is no exception, the bulletin highlights that “due to the Russian aggression on Ukraine, all international energy prices have risen”, and cites some fiscal movements, such as those carried out by Poland and Slovenia, to try to lower prices. The current shortage is one of the reasons why the Platform for the Defense of Transport has called a strike in the sector in Spain that has lasted four days and the reduction of taxes is one of the measures that the Government is studying.
In fact, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, at the end of last month, came at a time when crude oil prices were already historically high, as a result of the boost in demand (and the decision of the producing countries not to increase supply) caused by the economic recovery after the pandemic. But the war tension has been the straw that has broken the camel’s back and is helping to accelerate the famine even more. As a consequence, 95-octane gasoline has stood this week in Spain at an average of 1,845 euros per liter, the seventh consecutive week in which it has broken its all-time high. Since the amounts began to rise, on December 20, gasoline has become more expensive by 24.9%. And with respect to the previous record, in September 2012, this week’s is already 21.2% higher.
In the case of diesel, the weekly increase is even higher, bringing it closer to gasoline prices. This week refueling a diesel vehicle means paying an average of 1,817 euros per liter. It represents the fifth historical maximum that is beaten in a row and already exceeds the previous one, which also occurred in September 2012, by 25.8%. Since at the end of last December prices began to grow steadily, diesel has become more expensive by 35.2%.
These prices assume, calculated on an average 55-litre tank, that refueling a gasoline car requires an outlay of 101.45 euros, while doing the same with a diesel vehicle involves paying 99.95 euros. They are nine and 13 euros more, respectively, than a week ago. Compared to December 20, filling a medium-sized tank with gasoline has become more expensive by more than 20 euros and doing the same with a diesel tank, by 26 euros. But the blow is not only received by drivers of private vehicles, for sectors such as transport or fishing, the current amounts of fuel represent an economic dent.
Despite accumulating more than a month above its historical maximum, Spanish prices are both below the EU average (2.02 euros per liter of gasoline and 2.03 euros per liter of diesel), as well as than the eurozone average (2.13 euros for gasoline and 2.11 euros for diesel). Of the total of the Twenty-seven, 15 countries exceed the Spanish prices of gasoline. The highest amount is paid in the Netherlands (2,336 euros per liter) and the lowest territory in Hungary (1,283 euros). In diesel, Sweden is the most expensive (2,349 euros) and Malta the cheapest (1,210 euros).
He knows in depth all the sides of the coin.
Butane, also at maximum
This week the butane cylinder price ceiling has also been broken, the amount of which is regulated and is updated every two months. According to the latest review published in the State official newsletter, the cylinder becomes 4.96% more expensive and costs 18.63 euros. In the previous revision of January, with 17.50 euros, it had already reached its maximum historical level. According to the calculation methodology —which includes the price of raw materials, maritime freight and the evolution of the exchange rate between the euro and the dollar— now it should have increased by more than 7%, but by law its increase is limited to 5% (although the part that does not increase can be passed on later in later updates).
The Government approved at the end of last year measures to compensate for the increase in amounts. On the one hand, it increased the item allocated to the thermal social bonus and, on the other, it increased the aid that vulnerable consumers can receive. Since last October, these subsidies have a minimum of 35 euros per month (which is now equivalent to less than two cylinders) and a maximum of 370 euros. But consumer organizations consider that the measures are insufficient. Both OCU and Facua have recalled this week that the cylinder has become more expensive by more than 33% in the last year, and have demanded that both the price calculation method and the aid system for households with more difficulties be modified.