Fuel: prices have been falling since April, but remain an issue in the 2024 legislative elections – 06/18/2024 at 2:29 p.m.

Fuel: prices have been falling since April, but remain an issue in the 2024 legislative elections – 06/18/2024 at 2:29 p.m.
Fuel: prices have been falling since April, but remain an issue in the 2024 legislative elections – 06/18/2024 at 2:29 p.m.

Although prices have fallen, they have not returned to their level before the energy crisis, because “distribution costs have increased against a backdrop of inflation” since 2021.

(AFP / SAMEER AL-DOUMY)

Fuel prices at the pump have been falling almost continuously since April. But given their weight in household budgets, they remain a flammable subject in the context of legislative elections.

At gas stations, gasoline

unleaded 95 was displayed at a price of 1.84 euros

per liter on average last week, a drop of 3 cents compared to the previous week, according to figures adopted on Friday and published on Monday by the Ministry of Ecological Transition.

The super unleaded 95-E10 sold for 1.80 euros

(-7 cents).

Diesel increased by 9 cents to 1.68 euros per liter

, after several weeks of decline. Average diesel prices in June are down 5.46% since April, a similar drop for 95 unleaded gasoline and 95-E10 (around -5%).

The downward trend since April “follows the evolution of the barrel of oil”, underlined Francis Pousse, president of the professional union Mobilians (independent service stations), interviewed by the

AFP

. In mid-April, the barrel of crude oil reached a peak of $92, the highest level since October, amid fears of a possible spread of the conflict between Israel and Hamas to neighboring countries.

The barrel back to normal

From,

the barrel of crude has returned to “usual levels, between 80 and 90 dollars”

in recent weeks, despite recent decisions by the OPEC cartel to keep production cuts in force to support prices. Generally speaking, current average fuel prices are a long way from the peaks of 2022 when, following the start of the Russian invasion in Ukraine, they exceeded the symbolic bar of 2 euros, pushing the State to set up a pump discount.

But if prices have since fallen significantly,

however, they have not returned to their level before the energy crisis

because “distribution costs have increased against a backdrop of inflation” since 2021, explains Olivier Gantois, president of Ufip Energies et Mobilités, the oil industry union.

Hence a place of choice – which they share with gas and electricity – in the debates of the battle for the legislative elections of June 30 and July 7 while the surge in energy prices since the post- Covid and even more so since the war in Ukraine has largely fueled inflation and weighed on the budgets of households and businesses.

Prices stable this summer?

The proposals have also flourished, with that of

National rally to reduce VAT on fuel to 5.5%

while the New Popular Front (united left) pleads for a price freeze by decree.

Solutions on which Francis Pousse of the Mobilians union appears perplexed, whether on the feasibility of blocking prices, or on the cost for the State of a reduction in VAT, in these times of budgetary scarcity. Bercy has estimated the cost of this latest measure at around 10 billion euros.

Concerning the evolution of prices between now and the big vacation departures, Francis Pousse refuses to make forecasts, saying, however, that he is “rather confident at least in a stability” of prices.

Olivier Gantois, for Ufip, does not believe in “a sudden increase phenomenon, at the start of the summer period”. Even if occasional spikes in crude oil around $90 per barrel are still possible, according to him “we could continue to observe a period of relatively stable prices.”

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