The price of fuels followed a downward trend during the month of December. However, since the beginning of 2023 it has risen again. This increase coincides with the end of the bonus of 20 cents per liter of fuel, which was in force between April 1 and December 31 of last year, and which has currently only been maintained for professional drivers, farmers and fishermen. .
And the forecasts of some of the experts in the sector are not very optimistic for motorists. This is the case of Repsol and Cepsa, whose top executives have predicted a possible rise in fuel prices as a result of the community regulations that come into force this same month of February.
On February 5, the EU ban on buying Russian oil products such as diesel will enter into force
This is a European Union law that establishes new sanctions against Russia to try to weaken the country economically. Specifically, European states are prohibited from importing Russian oil products, including diesel. A decision that would cause an increase in the price of this fuel internationally, according to the two oil companies.
This was warned by Josu Jon Imaz and Maarten Wetselaar, top managers of Repsol and Cepsa, respectively, to the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez. The meeting took place in Davos, where the Spanish president met with the leaders of IBEX 35 companies, taking advantage of his presence at the 53rd edition of the World Economic Forum.
The leaders of the oil companies agreed that it is necessary to sanction Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, although they foresee that there will be international volatility with diesel. However, neither of them ventured to categorically ensure that prices will rise considerably in Spain from the implementation of this ban, on February 5.
The measure joins others that have been taken at the community level since the conflict in Ukraine broke out, such as the ban on buying Russian oil, in force since last December. In fact, the sanction that will soon affect Russian diesel imports was agreed upon in June, but it was waited until February so as not to further increase the inflation that is hitting member countries.
Spain is not particularly dependent on Russian diesel, but the international price may increase its price in the country
Both Repsol and Cepsa are optimistic with regard to supply, since they did not express that there was a risk of a short-term diesel shortage. This is because European countries have been buying large amounts of diesel in recent months to stock up and get through the winter.
However, many European countries are heavily dependent on Russian diesel. So much so that, until mid-December, about 50% of imports of this product came from Russian facilities, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. And although Spain is not particularly dependent on Russia, it may also suffer the consequences of this veto, since the price of diesel is subject, to a large extent, to its international price.
Another European regulation makes gasoline and diesel more expensive
To the withdrawal of state aid and the predictable rise in prices due to the ban on Russian imports, we must add another factor that makes refueling more expensive: a European regulation that came into force on January 1. This is a Community Directive on Fuel Quality, included in the Official State Gazette (BOE), which affects both gasoline and diesel.
The regulations establish that all the countries of the European Union must meet a series of objectives, among which is the reduction of the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions that fuels generate throughout their life cycle. Thus, the reduction has to be 6% compared to the reference value, which are the greenhouse gas emissions that the fossil fuels used in the EU produced in 2010, reveal from The reason.
In order to achieve the objectives set by this directive, it has been decided to increase the percentage of biofuels and biogas in each liter of gasoline and diesel from 10% to 10.5%. A small difference that causes important variations in the price due to the higher amount of taxes that biofuels have.
Therefore, this increase is noticeable in the final price of gasoline and diesel that customers pay at gas stations. According to the calculations of experts in the sector, this modification has caused the price of gasoline to have increased by 5 cents per liter since January 1, while diesel has risen 4.8 cents per liter.