Energy: Oil prices fall to lows - is fuel cheaper when filling up?

This article first appeared on RTL.

Energy: Oil prices fall to lows - is fuel cheaper when filling up?

This article first appeared on RTL.de

Oil prices fell to multi-month lows on Wednesday morning. For motorists, the question immediately arises: when will they notice the new prices at the pump? "We know from the past that oil price increases are quickly and immediately passed on to consumers. It's not always the other way around," explains ADAC when asked by RTL.

The price for a barrel (159 liters) of the North Sea Brent fell to 91.29 US dollars, a barrel of the US variety West Texas Intermediate (WTI) cost a low of 85.14 dollars. This meant that less had to be paid for a barrel of Brent than it had been since February, and the WTI price fell to its lowest level since January. Compared to the previous day, the discounts were about one and a half dollars.

A whole bunch of factors are currently weighing on crude oil prices. First and foremost, the unfavorable economic prospects, coupled with rising interest rates in many places, are causing pessimism. Added to this is the US dollar, which has been strong for a long time, which makes oil more expensive for interested parties outside the dollar zone due to the exchange rate and depresses demand. The third reason for the burden is China's strict corona policy, which is affecting the economic prospects of the world's second largest economy.

The oil association OPEC has already reacted to these developments and the associated falling prices. This week, around 20 producing countries reduced their production, albeit only slightly. Analysts interpreted the move as a commitment to further cuts should they become necessary. Irrespective of this, oil prices are still at a comparatively high level.

However, the new lows are not yet reflected at the gas station. After the end of the tank discount, fuel prices rose massively. The price of petrol in particular has literally exploded. As the current ADAC evaluation of fuel prices shows, a liter of Super E10 costs 1.992 euros on average nationwide, which is an increase of 21.6 cents compared to the previous week.

Diesel has also become significantly more expensive in the same period. A liter currently costs 2.157 euros, which is 8.2 cents more than a week ago. This means that diesel is currently 16.5 cents more expensive than Super E10 - the difference between the two types has never been so great without the special effect of the tank discount. The energy tax on diesel has been around 21 cents lower than on petrol since September 1st, but this is in no way reflected in the current prices.

According to the ADAC, the extent of the price increases and the current price level, which is far too high, cannot be justified. Although the tax burden on petrol rose by 35 cents per liter and on diesel by 17 cents only after the end of the tank discount on August 31, fuel prices were already massively increased, especially in the second half of August. According to the ADAC, prices rose by around seven cents for Super E10 and 15 cents for diesel at the time, although the oil price is at a similar level.

"We are now relying heavily on competition and on the fact that drivers are particularly price-conscious given the massively inflated price level and are trying to save on fuel," explains an ADAC spokesman when asked by RTL. That could have a price-dampening effect. The Federal Cartel Office has also promised to take a closer look at the pricing at the refineries and the other upstream business chains. "We are very excited about the results of this investigation," said the ADAC.

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