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17 Mar 2022, 13:57
Sören Amelang

Govt investigates why petrol prices have remained high despite falling oil prices

Clean Energy Wire

The German government has instructed the country's cartel authorities to look into the recent spike of diesel and petrol prices and to take action on any indication of abusive behaviour. "The oligopoly situation in the German fuel market has long been a structural problem," said energy and climate minister Robert Habeck in a statement. "It must not be possible for companies to make undue profits from the current situation. If there should be indications of this, for example also when comparing price movements in other EU countries, we will prepare legislative measures to enable the Federal Cartel Office to better monitor the market in fuels."

The cartel office said it was suspicious that prices at the pump have not followed the recent downward trend on oil markets. "Due to the geopolitical situation, prices have risen shockingly across the board. If crude oil prices now fall again and petrol station prices do not follow suit or even rise further, this is something to watch closely," the authority's head Andreas Mundt said. "In addition to changes in the price of crude oil, other market developments and distortions at the refinery and wholesale level caused by the Ukraine crisis in particular can also influence the level of prices at the pumps."

Despite falling oil prices, German motorists and households with oil-powered heating systems continue to pay record prices for fuel, leading to accusations that oil companies were largely responsible by increasing profit margins.

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