According to the Ministry of Finance, the margins of fuel retailers continue to fall and in the first half of June they were on average 1.70 crowns per liter lower than last year. In the case of diesel, they were approximately CZK 1.60 per liter lower in the given month than the average of last year. Gasoline margins were approximately CZK 1.80 per liter below last year’s average. The Ministry of Finance announced this in a press release on Thursday. It began to control margins due to higher fuel prices, and for the same reason it reduced the excise tax on petrol and diesel to four months from June, but the price of natural, for example, is again a record.
However, I am of the opinion that if we did not reduce the excise tax, we would see petrol and diesel prices one to two crowns higher at the pumps today.
From a more detailed analysis of the ministry’s price control, it is clear that the main reason for the early erasure of the positive effect of the excise tax reduction is not rising fuel margins, but especially rising oil and gasoline prices on the Rotterdam Commodity Exchange.
According to Finance Minister Zbyněk Stanjury (ODS), his office inspects about 95 percent of gas stations for three months a day, where it monitors a steady decline in average margins. In June, after reducing the excise tax per liter for a short period of time, fuel fell by about a crown, but then rose again after the adoption of the sixth package of sanctions and the European Union’s commitment to cut off Russian oil. “However, I am of the opinion that if we did not reduce the excise tax, we would see petrol and diesel prices one to two crowns higher at the pumps today,” Stanjura added.
In March, when the ministry introduced the obligation to report fuel prices, the monitored average gross margin for diesel was, according to its data, 4.91 crowns per liter, while the average for 2021 was CZK 3.39 / l. In April, the average margin fell by about 80 pennies, in May by another 30 pennies per liter, and after a further decline in the first half of June, it was at an average of CZK 1.80 per liter. According to the ministry, last year’s average margin for gas stations and distributors was CZK 2.55 per liter. In March this year, it averaged CZK 4.39, then fell to CZK 3.77 in April, to CZK 1.56 in May and to CZK 0.78 per liter in June.
In addition to controlling fuel margins, the government has taken other measures as a result of rising fuel prices, whose prices began to rise at the turn of February and March following the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It decided to abolish the mandatory blending of bio-components into fuels and to abolish the road tax on cars, vans and trucks up to 12 tonnes. From the beginning of June, it reduced the excise duty on petrol and diesel by 1.50 crowns per liter by 1.50, while the Ministry of Finance expected a reduction in fuel prices by up to 1.80 crowns per liter.
But fuel prices continue to rise and gasoline is record expensive. According to information from CCS, which regularly monitors prices, Natural 95 petrol was sold in the Czech Republic on Wednesday for an average of CZK 47.69 per liter.
Diesel was at gas stations at an average of 46.94 crowns per liter. Its current record price from mid-March, when diesel was sold for an average of almost CZK 49.60 per liter, is still resisting. However, drivers are now refueling more expensive than before the excise tax cut.