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Consequences of the Ukraine war: oil prices are falling, fuel is still expensive, how does that fit in? – Economy

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Good news is rare in times like these. Motorists might have expected one, as the price of crude oil has now dropped a bit. However, this did not bring relief to the gas stations.

Because the previous experience that the price of gasoline is based on the price of crude no longer applies: “The price of oil has dropped significantly since last week, but that is not reflected in fuel prices. Normally, changes in the price of crude oil are passed on to motorists. With the current oil price of less than US$110 per barrel of Brent, a price of less than two euros per liter of Super E10 would be expected. Obviously, however, there are special war-related factors that are driving up the gas price so much,” explains Andreas Hölzel, ADAC spokesman to the Tagesspiegel.

A normalization of the market situation is currently not foreseeable, since it depends on the development in Ukraine.

[Alle aktuellen Nachrichten zum russischen Angriff auf die Ukraine bekommen Sie mit der Tagesspiegel-App live auf ihr Handy. Hier für Apple- und Android-Geräte herunterladen.]

Since Russia’s attack on Ukraine, oil prices have soared, rising nearly 18 percent to $139.13 last week, close to the nearly $150 record set in the summer of 2008. This Monday, at its Once, a barrel (159 litres) of North Sea Brent cost US$109.83. That was $2.84 less than Friday. The price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell $2.96 to $106.37. The reason for this is the rapprochement in talks between Russia and Ukraine.

Heating Oil Hamster Shopping

So far, this has not been reflected in the pumps. According to a special evaluation of the ADAC, drivers had to pay 2,199 euros for a liter of Super E10 on Sunday, March 13 salary, which is 9.6 cents more than in the evaluation of Tuesday, March 8. A liter of diesel costs an average of 2,305 euros, which represents a jump in price of 15.5 cents in five days. The high price of diesel has to do with the growing demand for heating oil. Fear of further price increases or a potential supply disruption triggers fears and hamster buying, which in turn drives up the price.

More jumps are expected. According to the Federal Statistical Office, consumer prices increased by 5.1 percent compared to the same month last year. Power cost 22.5 percent more in February than it did a year ago. Fuel prices increased by 25.8 percent and domestic energy prices by 20.8 percent. Here, light fuel for heating (52.6 percent more), natural gas (35.7 percent more) and electricity (13.0 percent more) in particular became more expensive. However, the war against Ukraine has not yet been included in the statistics.

What can consumers do now to save money? For example, optimizing driving style, says Hölzel, ADAC spokesman. He also advises thinking about whether certain routes can be done on foot or by bicycle.

What is also worthwhile: refuel at the right time. According to a recent ADAC study, fuel is generally cheaper between 6 pm and 7 pm and between 8 pm and 10 pm I would only recommend refueling abroad for residents near the border who don’t have to travel a distance. extra long, otherwise there is no advantage. In Austria in particular, motorway fuel prices are similar to those in Germany. Due to high fuel prices, the consumer advice center receives more and more comments. Many people are looking for alternatives, form shared vehicles, use fuel applications or public transport.

The bus and the train are already more expensive

So in different regions at the turn of the year and before the war the tariffs rose. According to the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV), tickets have become more expensive by an average of 1.5 percent. Tickets have also become more expensive with Deutsche Bahn, on December 12, 2021 there was a surcharge of 1.9 percent, the highest since 2012.

From a call center point of view, this is not exactly optimal in the current situation. At the municipal level, cost sharing is already being discussed, for example in Bremen, reports Inse Ewen, energy consultant at the local consumer advice center. She also expects prices to rise for foods that come from energy-intensive production, such as greenhouse tomatoes. That would mean a surcharge on the already existing inflation.

More about the war in Ukraine on Tagesspiegel Plus:

The fact that food prices in Germany have been higher for some time has to do with rising energy costs and raw material prices, as well as supply chains that have spiraled out of control. as a result of the pandemic. Experts such as the director general of the Cologne Business Research Institute, Boris Hedde, hope that the increase in energy prices and logistics costs due to the war in Ukraine will make itself felt in people’s daily lives – “with each shop at the supermarket or discount store,” he predicts.

Klaus Josef Lutz, head of the BayWa company, recently told “n-tv” that he expects price increases of 15 to 20 percent in Germany, depending on the product group.

Will the bagels cost more soon?

Therefore, the increase in energy prices is a more important factor than raw materials, such as the increase in the price of wheat on the world market. So, the buns in the bakery will be indirectly more expensive in the near future? According to the Association of the Grain, Milling and Starch Industry (VGMS), it is not possible to say in general terms how quickly this will happen and how high the price increase will be. Products, supply relationships and contract periods are too diverse for this.

Rising energy prices are causing problems for bakeries.Photo: image alliance/dpa

The fact is that the costs for energy-intensive companies such as the grain, milling and starch industries have increased, a spokeswoman reports, this is reflected in logistics, that is, the transport of raw materials and food to companies or supermarkets. . In addition, the prices of the packaging have increased enormously, if they are currently available in the difficult situation.

However, price increases for businesses are not expected to lead directly to cost explosions in consumer prices. This has to do with the current supply contracts and the prices set in them, if they are met, the costs are also within limits, according to the VGMS.

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