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Retail automotive fuel prices to continue fluctuating in coming months

A Neste gas station in Tallinn on Thursday. February 1, 2024.
A Neste gas station in Tallinn on Thursday. February 1, 2024. Source: ERR

Representatives of gas station chains in Estonia say fuel prices will continue to fluctuate frequently within the range of a few cents this spring, citing instability on the global market as well as fierce competition between retailers.

Veiko Värk, head of fuel purchasing and logistics at Olerex, told ERR that fluctuations in fuel prices are a common phenomenon, and that these fluctuations will continue in the months ahead.

Meanwhile, there have been periods lasting even months in Estonia in which retail fuel prices have remained unchanged.

Alexela energy sales director Tarmo Kärsna likewise said that price fluctuations will continue in the coming months, but disagrees that a constant fluctuation of several cents in price is in any way typical on the Estonian fuel market.

According to Kärsna, behind this flux is intense competition on the Estonian fuel market. This competition, in turn, has resulted from Estonians' poor economic situation.

"People aren't filling up the tank at the beginning of the month anymore, because unexpected expenses can come up at the end of the month," he explained.

Circle K motor fuels sales director Raimo Vahtrik, meanwhile, says that behind the constant fluctuations at the pump is a combination of domestic competition in Estonia and the prevailing situation on the global market.

Kärsna explained that the situation on the Red Sea in particular is causing this instability, where cargo ships, including oil tankers, are increasingly being targeted.

He added that price differences within the Alexela chain may be caused by prices at other nearby gas stations, with which a specific Alexela location may be forced to compete.

Värk, meanwhile, noted that Olerex has occasionally adjusted its prices in regions along Estonia's southern border in order to remain competitive with Latvian gas stations.

Prices at the pump in Tallinn on Thursday stood at around €1.699 per liter for 95-octane gas and €1.599 per liter for diesel for the most part.

Fuel prices were a few cents higher per liter on Wednesday, up from lower prices at the beginning of the week.

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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