Queues form at petrol stations as fuel price hikes announced

Ljubljana – After media reports that fuel prices will go up significantly tomorrow, queues formed at service stations around the country. Some stations even temporarily ran out of diesel fuel. According to the newspaper Finance, the price of diesel could reach a new record tomorrow, at EUR 1.65 a litre. PM Janez Janša said there was no need to panic.

Oil prices had been going up even before Russia attacked Ukraine but they had been rising even faster since, also because of sanctions imposed on Russia and fears of disruption to the supply chains.

The announcement that the US and European countries may impose a ban on oil imports from Russia pushed them even further up.

In Slovenia, petrol prices have been gradually rising for several weeks and currently stand between EUR 1.45 and EUR 1.50 per litre.

Finance has calculated, using a formula that had been used to calculate prices until autumn 2020, when the market was liberalised, that the price of diesel could jump to around EUR 1.65 per litre tomorrow, a record, so filling a 50-litre tank would cost almost EUR 10 more.

The price of regular is expected to go up to just over EUR 1.55.

Janša wrote on Twitter tonight that Slovenia had enough fuel supplies so there would be no shortages. “Moreover, in case of radical increase of retail prices the government will take addition mitigation measures. There is no need to panic.”

The biggest fuel retailer in the country, Petrol, said there had been increased demand at its stations around the country this afternoon, especially for diesel. It said this was the “consequence of an exaggerated response of consumers to alarming media reports of expected fuel price hikes because of the situation on the global markets”.

Subsequently, some smaller stations even ran out of diesel fuel, but Petrol said additional supply had been provided and that no disruptions were expected tomorrow either.

Petrol told the STA the prices of energy on global markets had been volatile and unpredictable as it is, and Russia’s current military activities in Ukraine created even more insecurity. The prices of fuel on global markets have already gone up and everyone will feel the consequences. “Because of these factors it is impossible to forecast the movement of retail prices,” Petrol said.

A similar response came from OMV Slovenija, which said its supply had not been disrupted today and that the Slovenian market had sufficient supplies of fuel.

The government confirmed a EUR 200 million package of aid for households and companies to mitigate energy-price hikes at the end of January, also including lower excise duties on heating oil and petrol. The measure entered into force on 1 February and will be in place until the end of April. The government said the excise duties had been reduced to the lowest possible level.

For petrol it currently stands at EUR 0.35901 per litre and for diesel at EUR 0.330.