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Gasoline prices reach all-time record again

The price of a liter of 95-octane gasoline rose to €1.659 on Thursday, up from the already record high of €1.639 per liter posted last week, with no sign in sight of a reversal of the continuing upward trend.

Diesel now costs €1.499 per liter at pump.

High world prices, growing demand and the ongoing energy crisis means no fall in fuel prices is forecast any time soon and in fact further inflation may be experienced.

Tarmo Kärsna, board member at fuel retailer AS Alexela, told ERR that: "Last week, the price of oil jumped steadily to US$90-91 dollars [per barrel], and this price will reach our filling stations after a delay."

"The positive thing at present is that, since the middle of the week, the price fallen to US$89 again. If it stays that way, it can be expected to be passed on to gas stations with a slight drop in prices," Kärsna went on, adding the peak has not been reached yet, putting the forecast figure according to some experts at US$95-99 this year.

Indrek Sass, head of sales at fuel retailer Circle K, said the purchase prices of motor fuels on the world market have remained at a five-year high for over a week now.

The rapid rise is in part the result of rising demand versus supply, since production volumes have been affected by last year's fall in demand resulting from the pandemic.

He said: "Based on this, lower production volumes were forecast for the winter period as well, as restrictions on movement were expected. However, as the restrictions have remained milder than feared and consumption has risen, the demand for motor fuels is higher than the supply."

The high prices will remain through to the end of winter, he added.

The easing of Covid restrictions will also have the effect of exerting an upward pressure on demand, Tarmo Kärsna of Alexela said, adding that an Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) promise to rise production by 400,000 per day each month might be difficult to attain.

Fuel oil demand also rose in some cases where it was used instead of natural gas, Kärsna added. Natural gas prices have been seeing record prices in recent months also, as has electricity.

Geopolitical tensions are also affecting prices in an upward directions.

Circle K will see world market price rises passed on to its own retailer price at pump on average 7-10 days later, Sass said.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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