Daniel Apostol, ROPEPCA: Fuel overcharges prevent further price reduction

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The recent fines imposed by the Competition Council on some fuel wholesale distributors for cartel deals on prices and customer portfolio shed new light on the decisions the Romanian state could take to influence, for the better, the hydrocarbon industry in a profoundly unfavorable moment, claimed Daniel Apostol, economic analyst and Secretary General of ROPEPCA petroleum associations, at TVR 1.

In an edition of Prim Plan talk-show dedicated to fuel price formation mechanism, Daniel Apostol said: “If anyone has the curiosity to look at Platts quotation system (fuel quotation – e.n) at European level, will see that it has a similar dynamic with the oil price. If we go further and look at the dynamics of fuel prices in Romania, we will notice that it did not register brutal curves when crude oil prices rose strongly at the European

“How much from the tax collected from fuel related activities went, indeed, in highways construction? There is an over-duty, and now there is discussion about higher taxation of profits from production in a context not cheerful at all. While the raw material cost is down, the level of taxation remains constant. State representatives should think whether they can influence for the better the hydrocarbon industry in a tough moment for it”, concluded Daniel Apostol.

During the same TV show, Răzvan Nicolescu, former Minister of Energy and consultant at Deloitte, explained in detail the structure of the pump price of fuel: “Let us suppose the price of a barrel of oil is 0, and the companies are working for free. In these circumstances, the Romanian consumer still would pay 2.6 RON per liter of gasoline. About 60% of the pump price represents charges by the Romanian State. The remaining 40% is the cost of fuel, cost of logistics (transport, storage), the cost of personnel, and the profit margin. Under the current conditions, fuel price falls only following Platts quotation or from lower profit margin as a result of competitive practices.”

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