the gasoline subsidy is only benefiting the oil companies

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The Government’s 20-cent discount on gasoline has long since been left in the lurch, at least for citizens. The oil companies, on the other hand, are benefiting tremendously. At least that’s what it says the latest report of the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC), which indicates that gas stations increased their gross distribution margin (that is, income without counting the cost of oil and taxes) of fuels in April as never before of 2022, the last month for which data has already been processed and the first in which state aid worked.

Diesel rise. The CNMC points out that the diesel margin rose an average of 23.7% that month at service stations in Spain, or what is the same, 4.98 euro cents more per liter. That is to say, almost the same that the Government demanded that the oil companies discount. It should be remembered that, of the aid of 20 cents decreed by the Executive in April, the Administration assumed 75% of the reduction, 15 cents, and the service stations had to assume the remaining 25%, that is, 5 cents.

Thus, in April the average gross distribution margin of Spanish gas stations was 26 cents per liter of diesel A, according to the CNMC. The previous record number It was 24 cents per litre.

And the gasoline? The increase in gross distribution margins for gasoline was not as marked in April as for diesel. In that month, it only increased by 4.3%, that is, 1.15 cents per liter. Although Competition highlights that, in the case of this fuel, the sharp rise had occurred in March, when the gross margin increased by 14.8%, 3.43 cents per liter more. If both months are added, a figure very similar to that of diesel is reached, almost 5 cents of increase in the gross margin.

In April, the gross distribution margin for gasoline was close to 28 cents per liter. The previous maximum had been reached only a month before, when it exceeded 26.5 cents per litre. Two consecutive records regarding the previous top markof 25 cents per litre, reached in 2020.

Comparison with France. The CNMC report compares the gross distribution margin of Spanish gas stations with those of France, a country that also began to apply the same discount in April, and concludes that, compared to the French, the aforementioned margin was 19.2 cents euros per liter of superior diesel A in our country. In March, that difference was just 4.4 cents.

Record oil company profits. All this comes shortly after several of the world’s largest oil companies, some of them with a strong presence in Spain, announced record profits in the first quarter of 2022.

Repsol, for example, Registration profits of 1,400 million euros from January to March, its best historical mark and which was more than double that in the same period of 2021. BP, for its part, tripled their profits compared to the same quarter of 2021 and reached 5,900 million euros. And Cepsa, with more modest figures, increased their earnings 251% compared to the same period last year to reach 265 million euros.

Real time monitoring. In addition to the report on fuel prices in April, the CNMC has a tool that monitors service station margins in real time. With this mechanism, the supervisory body has found up to one hundred gas stations that would have increased their profits at the expense of the discount, according to El País. In other words, in addition to not reducing the five cents required by the Government, they would have pocketed part of the 15 cents from the public coffers.

According to the aforementioned information, of the one hundred service stations in which these fraudulent practices have been detected, two of them would have seen their benefits increase between 10 and 20 cents per liter in both gasoline and diesel since the start of the aid. . Another 14 with only gasoline and seven with diesel would have increased their earnings between five and ten cents, 69 with gasoline and 47 with diesel would have earned between one and five cents per liter more, and 41 would have earned up to one euro cent more .

The diesel and gasoline subsidy is a patch.  The Government will keep it with prices on the rise

New fuel record. And we have known all this at the same time that both fuels set record prices again. This week gasoline has reached a historical maximum of 1,941 euros per liter and diesel of 1,876 euros per liter, both amounts with the discount of 20 cents already included, as reported by the EFE Agency.

government investigation. The fuel crisis is not only affecting Spain. Their prices are rising so much all over the world that several governments have already opened investigations to check if this inflation responds only to the increase in costs or, as has happened in the aforementioned gas stations, distributors are increasing prices to earn more by taking advantage of the situation .

For now, the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany have initiated investigations in this regard, as we have in Xataka. Spain, at the moment, has not joined this investigation. Last May, the Minister of Economic Affairs, Nadia Calviño, said that the CNMC had found no irregularities that could be investigated by the Executive. According to the new data revealed by the supervisory body, the Government is likely to change its mind.

Image | Engin Akyurt

The Government’s 20-cent discount on gasoline has long since been left in the lurch, at least for citizens. The oil…

The Government’s 20-cent discount on gasoline has long since been left in the lurch, at least for citizens. The oil…

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