On Monday, March 14, fuel prices will fall again. From 1 April, a discount of 15 cents per liter will apply everywhere and for everyone. Are we finally going to pay for a full tank of gas at a pretty reasonable price?
In France, a wind of panic blew among motorists this week. Prices for a liter of petrol have been well above 2 euros, regardless of the station – even in hypermarkets – regardless of the city or the type of fuel. A liter of diesel at €2.30 or even €2.40 was unheard of.
The price of Brent oil rose to €128.87 on Tuesday, March 8, and fell to €112.29 on Friday. Refined oil – the Platts index in Rotterdam – rose in the same way as crude oil. Prices skyrocketed amid fears of an embargo on Russian oil. In France, however, a quarter of the diesel we import comes from Russia.
On Friday 11 March, pump prices fell for the first time.
Monday 14 March: up to 35 cents discount
The diesel price at the pump will fall by 35 cents per liter from Monday 14 March. For unleaded 95 and 98, the discount is 8 to 10 cents. It was Michel-Edouard Leclerc, CEO of Leclerc hypermarkets, who announced it. This volume concerns not only his brand, but all fuel distributors, according to Michel-Edouard Leclerc. This drop from 35 cents for diesel and 8 to 10 cents for unleaded 95 and 98 will bring a majority of petrol stations below the 2 euro per liter threshold. It remains to be seen whether prices will remain stable thereafter.
Fuel: State, producers, distributors… who benefits from rising prices?
Friday 1 April 15 cents less per liter
This is the weekend’s shock announcement and the government’s response to rising fuel prices. From April 1, we will pay 15 cents less per liter than the price shown at the pump. It will be valid for all fuels, everywhere in France, for individuals and companies. Jean Castex promises a discount of 9 euros for a full 60 liters. This “fuel discount” will remain in effect for four months. Distributors are reimbursed by the state. The fuel discount affected motorists, craftsmen, construction, taxis, truck drivers and fishermen.
However, there is no question of a reduction in the fuel tax. The Prime Minister, who spoke the Parisian, promises that the “fuel rebate” will allow the French to recover the additional taxes collected by the state. “Everything will be returned to the French”, Jean Castex assures, “I can’t say that the state is filling its pockets”. He explains that the “fuel discount” will cost 2 billion euros in public finances. If fuel prices were to remain at current levels, the state’s tax revenues would increase by less than 2 billion in the first half of 2022.
The State is also asking oil companies and distributors to slightly lower their margins. “If the state makes an effort of 15 cents per litre, and that (the oil companies and the distributors) for example an effort of 5 cents, then it is indeed 20 cents that should end up in the pockets of the French,” assures Johannes Castex.
Discount of 15 cents on fuel: for whom? until ? how does it work?… we explain everything to you
A very uncertain price evolution
Current oil prices, “it’s a crazy market”, admitted Michel-Edouard Leclerc BFM TV Friday. If prices at the pump rose last week, it was due to a possible European embargo on energy from Russia. This threat seems irrelevant this weekend and the Russians have not discussed the possibility of halting their oil exports to Europe.
Outside the embargo, there is no risk of an oil shortage. There is enough oil for world consumption. OPEC+ oil-producing countries (including Russia) decided in August 2021 to increase production by 400,000 barrels per day each month. A goal that has not changed with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The next OPEC+ meeting is scheduled for March 31.
In any case, the evolution of the war in Ukraine in the coming weeks will inevitably have an impact on prices at the pump.