The service stations have responded to the bonus of 20 cents per liter of fuel approved by the Government with an average increase of prices ranging between 0.7 cents per liter in the case of gasoline and of 3.52 cents for dieselaccording to a study prepared by Esade.
Also, mention a higher rise in the cheapest gas stations. “In both products, it is the gas stations with the lowest prices that have reacted much more strongly to the change in policy, increasing their prices. This has led to a compression of the price distribution. Specifically, in the case of diesel, gas stations cheaper ones even increased their price between five and eight cents per litre”, reveals the report.
Independent gas stations (those that do not have an exclusive supply contract with a wholesale oil product operator) are the ones that have captured most of the bonus, while retail distributors (which are part of the network of large companies) have done so to a lesser extent.
“A design flaw” of the bonus of 20 cents per liter
The main hypothesis, according to its authors, is that this situation is due to “a design flaw” of the executive bonus with respect to independent service stations. “The system of advances implemented by the Government to provide liquidity to the sector has proved insufficient in the case of independent gas stations with lower prices, which may have led to their prices increasing in order to guarantee said liquidity,” the document states. .
Thus, the authors consider that the big companies “They can afford to carry out this strategy of not raising prices, or even lowering them slightly in the case of 95 gasoline”, since they have the margins of their refining activities, as well as previous higher prices compared to service stations independent.
“This relative cheapening of gas stations operated by wholesale operators compared to the rest of the market seems to us to be particularly worrying in the medium and long term, since we understand that it can undermine competition in the sector,” warns the report.
Gas stations ask that the advance system be improved
Since the Government’s intention to subsidize fuel was announced, one of the main points of friction with the service station sector has been linked to advance payments to be received by gas stations. In fact, at the end of June, the National Association of Automatic Service Stations (Aesae) asked the Executive to expedite payments advance amounts to “not endanger the financial stability of gas stations operating in Spain”.
According to his calculations, the gas stations are advancing around 35,000 euros per month, “which represents a significant decrease in their liquidity and, in many cases, by not having it, a search for external financing in financial entities”, which derives in indebtedness and financial costs for which they do not receive consideration.
In this context, Esade’s proposal consists of “extend and improve the design of the system of advances to independent service stations“to ensure that these do not need to resort to price increases to have short-term liquidity. Thus, they point to the possibility of extending the advance system and that returns are made more frequently, each 15 daysreplacing the current model, where it is carried out on a monthly basis.
“We understand that in this way the liquidity of small companies in the sector is guaranteed, which will help the discount reach consumers in its entirety without increasing the level of aggregate spending of the policy,” the report includes among its conclusions.
Meanwhile, the average price of fuel fell slightly this Thursday, although it is still above the barrier of two euros coinciding with the holiday departure operation. However, applying the reduction of 20 cents per liter, gasoline is sold at 1,912 euros per liter on average, while diesel stands at 1,876 euros. However, these are average values and some refueling stations exceed them.