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Fuel Prices Crawling Upwards, Government Ready to Intervene

Hungary Today 2024.07.03.

Fuel prices are once again above the average prices of neighboring countries, therefore the government will put the issue on the agenda on Wednesday, Minister for National Economy Márton Nagy told ATV. He reminded that the previous requirement that wells should keep their prices at the level of neighboring countries is still in force, writes Világgazdaság.

“We will enforce this, either by making sure that retailers understand and do not circumvent this expectation, or by intervening with serious regulatory measures.

We do not understand these price movements, because the expectations that were set last month are still in place,”

emphasized the Minister for National Economy.

Minister Márton Nagy. Photo: MTI/Balogh Zoltán

Prices at pumps have soared in recent weeks. Last Friday, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) published the fuel prices of neighboring countries, showing that the average price of both petrol and diesel is higher in Hungary than in neighboring countries. Thus, the government has again called on fuel retailers to return to the practice of previous months and lower their prices to below the average of neighboring countries, in order to protect families. The cabinet has indicated that it is prepared to intervene in the fuel market if this is not the case.

Gergely Suppan, chief economist at the Ministry for National Economy, told InfoRadio on Tuesday that if the expected price correction does not materialize, they will take action. “For now, we are waiting to see what the reaction to our statement will be.”

He noted that there had been a significant increase in fuel prices in the country recently, affecting both petrol and diesel.

One of the main reasons is the rise in the price of oil, but this would not justify such a rise in prices.”

On June 24, the average price of petrol in Hungary was 10 forints higher than the regional average. Graph: KSH

According to a report by the Hungarian Central Statistical Office (KSH) last Friday: the average price of petrol in neighboring countries was HUF 606 (EUR 1.53; 1 EUR = 394 HUF), while in Hungary it was HUF 610, rising to HUF 613 on Saturday, and from Tuesday it costs HUF 615 a liter at domestic wells.

For diesel, the average price in neighboring countries was HUF 611 last Friday, while in Hungary it rose to HUF 629 on Saturday and it is HUF 633 from Tuesday, a difference of more than HUF 20.

Mr. Suppan promised to monitor in the coming days whether the price correction they had requested would be made and whether domestic prices would return to the average level in the region. If not, they will take action.

On June 24, the average price of diesel fuel in Hungary was 28 forints higher than the regional average. Graph: KSH

The president of the Independent Petrol Stations Association told ATV News earlier that the ministry alone was responsible for the reduction in fuel prices. “The dealers have nothing, nothing, I repeat nothing to blame for the price increase (…) It can be clearly stated: the price of fuel in Hungary is overtaxed,” Gábor Egri stressed.

Gergely Suppan responded to the accusation underlining that

it is a misinterpretation that fuel taxes are very high in Hungary, as the situation is much worse in many Western European countries.”

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Via ATV, Világgazdaság; Featured image via Facebook/MOL

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