FUEL PRICES HOLD STEADY DESPITE CRIMEAN CONCERNS Fuel prices have not changed much at Irish pumps in the last month despite the international situation in the Crimea and fears that it would cause a surge in energy prices.
A litre of petrol now costs an average of 153.1 cents, up exactly 1 cent in the last month. Diesel prices actually fell, albeit only by 0.7 cent, to an average of 146.0 per litre.
“We have seen price spikes previously in response to geo-political tensions but that has not happened here yet.” Says Director of Consumer Affairs Conor Faughnan.
“There were sharp increases at other times in relation to Middle-Eastern tensions. These can be quite fluky, market-driven effects that are not sustained.”
The AA points out that a barrel of oil does not stay still on its journey from well to pump. In fact oil is typically traded as much as twenty times on international exchanges between the time when it is extracted as crude oil to the time it is sold to an Irish driver. With the Ukraine as a major transit country for Russian gas supplied to Europe there had been fears that energy prices generally could have risen sharply.
“Huge trades are made on international exchanges far removed from the consumer.” Says Faughnan. “We sometimes see price movements even throughout a single day as trading can get spooked in response to a single headline. It settles down on a longer time-line and for now we are not seeing any real effect from the Crimean situation.”
While all of this international news might be interesting the AA believes that the problem of high fuel prices as they affect the Irish consumer are caused much closer to home. As it stands, 58% of the cost of a litre of petrol is tax. That means that a typical Irish motorist is spending €229.65 per month on fuel of which €133.20 is tax.”
The AA calculates that AA Fuel Usage figures a car that does 12,000 miles per year (19,200 kms) at a fuel consumption rate of 30 miles per gallon (9.42 litres per 100 kms) will use 150 litres of fuel per month. ENDS