Subdued heating fuel demand reported on first day of tax hikes

Heating fuel demand was virtually non-existent around the country on Saturday, when new tax hikes on the fuel took effect, increasing its cost by about 10 percent compared to last October.

One major local trader reported a total of just twenty heating fuel orders for the day.

Definitely helping shape this trend, the weather around the country remains mild while consumers are still waiting for the finance ministry to announce its heating fuel subsidy program for this coming winter.

The finance ministry is considering implementing a geography-based subsidy system through which consumers based in colder parts of Greece, such as mountainous regions, will receive greater subsidy support for heating fuel.

Though the total amount to be provided for heating fuel subsidies will remain unchanged, compared to last year, at 105 million euros, the government intends to apply better-targeted coverage. Income and property criteria will also stay the same.

Heating fuel prices on Saturday reached around 92 to 93 cents per liter in major urban centers, up approximately 10 percent compared to last October, while prices in provincial parts of the country were reported at around 97 to 98 cents.

The government raised the special consumption tax (EFK) imposed on fuel from 23 cents to 28 cents per liter and the VAT rate from 23 percent to 24 percent – as of October 15. The tax hikes will also apply to auto fuels as of the beginning of 2017.

Fuel taxes in Greece now constitute 54 percent of retail prices, well over the EU average of 32.1 percent.