Taxes restricting oil price plunge benefits for consumers

The potential benefits for consumers offered by the considerable drop in oil prices are being dampened by the high level of taxes imposed on fuel in the Greek market.

As a result, only part of the plunge in international crude prices, down by 20 percent to 48 dollars a barrel over the past month alone, is being passed on to retail prices at the pump.

According to figures published by the development ministry, the pre-tax price level of unleaded fuel in Greece has dropped in proportion with the fall in crude oil prices levels. However, the resulting retail price is being highly influenced by the amount of taxes and duties imposed on fuel, which represent over 60 percent of the retail price.

Unleaded fuel prices at petrol stations in Athens currently range between 1.31 euros and 1.56 euros per liter, while diesel is down to prices of between 0.989 euros per liter and 1.25 euros per liter. The higher prices for both categories apply to higher-performance fuel products.

Latest market data, presenting price levels for August 28, showed that the national average price of unleaded fuel was 1.459 euros per liter and 1.139 euros per liter for diesel. In the wider Athens area, the retail price of unleaded fuel on this date averaged 1.423 euros per liter, while diesel averaged 1.106 euros per liter.

As always, the highest prices were registered in the Cyclades, where unleaded fuel prices reached as high as 1.648 euros per liter, surpassing the price level on Crete, which ranged between 1.51 euros and 1.57 euros per liter, and the Dodecanese, where the average price was reported at 1.561 euros per liter.