ECONOMY

Rising Fuel Prices Weigh Heavily on Motorists as School Year Begins

As the new academic year gets underway, drivers are feeling the burden of rising gasoline prices, turning each visit to the gas station into a painful ordeal. According to the latest government report, released on September 18, the price of SP95-E10 gasoline per liter reached an average of 1.94 euros last week. This marked a significant increase of 0.4 euros compared to the previous week and a total rise of 15 cents since the beginning of July.

This price level hasn’t been seen in 2023, and we need to look back to June of the previous year to find comparable prices, which were even exceeded at that time. Back then, a government subsidy of 18 cents provided some relief to consumers.

For diesel users, who constitute the majority of drivers, the situation is equally challenging. The average price of diesel per liter stands at 1.93 euros, reflecting a sudden increase of 5 cents in just one week. Since the beginning of July, diesel prices have surged by a significant 26 cents, reaching levels not witnessed since the end of January.

This issue has raised considerable concern and has drawn the attention of government authorities. The Prime Minister herself addressed the matter over the weekend, announcing in an interview with Parisien-Aujourd’hui en France that fuel retailers would be allowed to sell fuel at a loss to help curb these price hikes. This measure is expected to come into effect on December 1st, pending the examination of the law on commercial negotiations between producers and distributors in the Assembly in early October. Bruno Le Maire, the Minister of the Economy, mentioned that this measure would remain in effect for “six months.”

The issue of refinery profit margins, which have surged since June, is also under scrutiny, with the Ministry of the Economy considering the reintroduction of a tax on extraordinary oil profits. However, for now, there are no plans to reintroduce government subsidies, which had reached up to 30 cents per liter last autumn and had cost the state 8 billion euros.

Meanwhile, various retailers like Intermarch√© and Casino are implementing measures to mitigate cost increases, while TotalEnergies has announced its intention to cap prices at 1.99 euros in its stations, extending this policy into the next year “as long as prices remain elevated.”

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