What to expect with the price of gas

Dhe petrol prices in Germany are on the verge of a significant increase: in the coming week, the three-month reduction in the energy tax on fuel, the so-called “tank discount”, will end. The first price increases can already be observed, such as the car club ADAC reported. The higher tax rate will then apply again from Thursday next week: Super E10 should then be 35 cents more expensive per liter, diesel 17 cents. Based on current prices, that would be around EUR 2.09 per liter for Super E10 and EUR 2.16 for diesel. “That would indeed be my expectation,” says the Munich economist Monika Schnitzer, who two years ago analyzed the price changes following the temporary VAT reduction in detail: “But there may also have been a small anticipated price increase before that – that was the end of 2020, before the temporary VAT reduction expires.”

Some prices have already been raised

It will be exciting: Will the mineral oil companies manage to pass on the higher tax in full to drivers? When the tax was cut in June, there had been a long debate about whether the tax cut would be passed on. At that time, the prices for petrol and diesel had already risen before the date, fell sharply on the day itself, but rose again on the second day. In the weeks that followed, crude oil became cheaper, and with it gasoline. Comparisons with petrol prices in France had at least suggested that the tax cut, which was limited to three months, had had an effect in Germany.

So this should be reversed now. “I’m not expecting an abrupt price increase from one day to the next,” says Manuel Frondel, an energy specialist at the RWI research institute in Essen. “Rather, I’m assuming that prices are already gradually increasing over the next few days.” In any case, drivers would then have to expect prices at the gas station of more than 2 euros per liter for Super E10 and more than 2.10 euros per liter for diesel.

At least the oil companies are speculating that there could be a heavy rush at the gas stations shortly before the tax is raised again in the coming week. In any case, the petroleum industry association Fuels und Energie advises motorists to always refuel in good time. The situation is becoming a “logistical challenge”: “Our logisticians are doing everything they can to maintain the supply even under these difficult conditions and to prevent bottlenecks,” said Adrian Willig, Managing Director of the association.

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