Throughout the last year, in Romania, the pump prices of diesel and gasoline remained relatively close. Slightly higher differences were in the summer of 2021, although they generally remained below 20 money per liter.
An easily noticeable difference began to appear in the spring of this year, and, unlike previous periods, did not quickly reach a plateau, but deepened in late March and April. From 47 money on March 31, the difference reached 66 money on April 6 and 68 money on April 11.
Thus, although gasoline has become cheaper, following the trend of oil on international stock exchanges, diesel has reached new historical highs.
Looking back, on data from the last 7 years, only between November 2018 and March 2019 we had significant differences, but, in general, less than 50 bani per liter.
The situation is not only visible in Romania, but in most of the region.
In Poland, according to the European monitor, petrol costs 1.42 EUR / liter, and diesel was more expensive on April 4: 19 eurocents, compared to 13 eurocents in Romania and 12 eurocents in Hungary.
In Bulgaria, the difference was only 2 cents, while in Slovakia, diesel was 3 cents cheaper, according to the European Commission’s bulletin.
The market for diesel fuels, used in various fields such as road transport of goods, construction or agriculture, is global, and the increased demand in a region or limited supply has effects thousands of miles away.
The trend in European benchmarks (ICE) was favorable for petrol in the first months, with a subsequent recovery in diesel.
In the United States, where a gallon of diesel was 30-40 cents more expensive in the past, a difference of $ 1 has been reached. Here, too, gasoline handed over the reins of diesel, especially in March, the difference being accentuated as a result of a more pronounced reduction in gasoline relative to diesel.
Since the March 11 high of $ 4.33 / gallon, gasoline has reached $ 4.11 / gallon according to AAA. Diesel is at $ 5.04 / gallon from a high of $ 5.135 / gallon a month ago.
Europe is an exporter of petrol but an importer of diesel, but the situation is not homogeneous and the differences between countries and regions are large.
In addition to oil, which can be refined to obtain gasoline or diesel, Russia also exports diesel directly, with about 20% of the continent’s demand being covered in this direction. The outbreak of war generated a supply shock just as demand was growing.
Lately, oil companies have tended to reorient themselves, even from far greater distances, to sources such as the Middle East, Asia and the United States.
On the other hand, the demand for agricultural works or logistics has increased, amid the conflict in Ukraine and its effects on agricultural commodity markets.
The demand for heavy equipment transport has also been growing, and it is mainly done with diesel, not petrol.
The spread is expected to remain high or even increase, even in the next period, if we do not see a moderation of hostilities.
Diesel could remain a significantly more expensive period than gasoline, although there would be some hopes of tempering it towards summer.
Partial self-regulation could come in the medium term from a slowdown in supply. With rising inflation and a more cautious approach to consumers, and the Chinese blockages added to the previous logistical stalemate, China’s restrictions on maintaining control over the number of infections could have serious effects.
Supply chains were already under pressure, and ordering a bicycle from China in Europe can cost up to 2/3 of its value for transportation can remove some of the demand.
Maritime operator Maersk has spoken of an “accumulation of delays”, and an Oxford Economics analysis shows that supply difficulties are at a new high.
Hopes for drivers also come from oil developments in international markets. At over $ 131 a barrel, Brent oil is now around $ 100 a barrel.
The release of 120 million barrels from US and other IEA reserves, the closure of some cities in China and the interest rate hikes announced by central banks, including the US, have so far halted the rise of oil.
For a while, a slight trend of cheaper gasoline could continue, although in terms of diesel, the trend is not clear, even if oil would not become more expensive.
However, the direction of the conflict in Ukraine is of major importance for estimating the trend in the coming months.
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