Fluctuating crude oil prices in international markets have shaped a very volatile domestic fuel market, the instability raising gasoline prices to more than 2 euros per liter on a number of Greek islands, which has prompted questions as to whether such levels will spread to pumps throughout the country.
Two key developments have unsettled suppliers and consumers, the first being further EU sanctions imposed on Russian petroleum products, to come into effect February 8. The latest measure will ban Russian oil exports to the EU. Brussels is also examining a price cap for Russian oil sold to non-EU members.
A second factor making impact concerns China’s return to energy markets following the country’s departure from a zero-Covid policy and whether the subsequent increase in Chinese demand will lead to shortages.
Analysts have remained indefinite on the possible effects of both these factors.
According to Greece’s monitoring center for liquid fuel prices, unleaded gasoline rose by 0.076 euros per liter between January 1 and January 29, to 1.918 euros per liter.
The rise in heating fuel prices in Greece was steeper, escalating by 0.162 euros per liter during the same period to reach 1.301 euros per liter. A government subsidy cut on heating fuel was the main factor behind this price increase.
The price rise for auto diesel was milder, increasing by 0.026 euros per liter, to 1.821 euros per liter, between January 1 and January 29.
Refineries have begun reducing their wholesale fuel prices as a result of a recent de-escalation in international prices, since January 20, to be passed on to the domestic retail market in coming days. But the duration of this price de-escalation remains unknown.