Increased prices: Cartel Office sees “abnormalities” in diesel

Increased prices: Cartel Office sees

The price increases for diesel fuel alarmed Germany’s top competition watchdog. “The current price increases, especially for diesel, are further evidence that we must continue to deal with the refineries and wholesalers,” said the President of the Federal Cartel Office, Andreas Mundt, according to a statement.

In April 2022, the authority initiated a so-called “refineries and wholesale fuel trade” sector inquiry, which is still ongoing. “If we find evidence of illegal behavior, we will pursue it consistently,” said Mundt.

Refinery and import inflation

Regarding the current fuel price development, the authority states that the price increases for super petrol of the E5 and E10 types after deducting taxes largely followed those of the crude oil markets. “Since July, we have recorded price increases of almost 14 percent for crude oil, among other things due to supply cuts in the supplier countries.”

In the case of diesel, however, the gap between crude oil and gas station prices has grown significantly in recent weeks. Mundt spoke of “abnormalities”. “The reasons for the price increases for diesel are not to be found at the petrol stations,” he said.

“Bigger price fluctuations”

Since the Russian embargo, Germany has opened up new supply routes for diesel as an importing country, but is in global competition with other buyers. “This can result in larger price fluctuations: If other locations offer higher prices, more deliveries are made there. There are also current technical problems and capacity bottlenecks in local refineries.”

Consequently, the current price increases are already taking place at the refinery and import level. “It follows from this, however, that the greater gap between diesel and crude oil tends not to benefit the filling stations, since they also have higher procurement costs.”

Criticism from the ADAC

The Fuels and Energy trade association, which among other things represents the branded filling stations and refineries in Germany, confirmed the authority’s assessment. “On the one hand, crude oil prices have risen, and on the other hand, the purchase prices for petrol and especially diesel at filling stations on the relevant international product markets have recently risen significantly,” said a spokesman.

The ADAC had recently criticized the increase in fuel prices again. The basic level is clearly excessive, according to the automobile club. Against the background that crude oil is trading at a constant level in a weekly comparison, the current further price increase is not justified.

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