Towards an increase in the price of heating oil and gasoline from February? A new embargo could inflate prices
This afternoon in “It’s not every day on Sunday”, Christophe Deborsu and Audrey Lenens received several guests to discuss the energy crisis we are currently experiencing. This week, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said he wanted to increase excise duties in order to reduce the deficit in the government’s budget. But not all parties in power see this in a good light. Consumers could therefore pay more for their energy bills.
At the same time, another element could also raise the bill from February 5: the embargo on refined products from Russia. Should we also fear a rise in the price of diesel as a result, and therefore of fuel oil?
Will fuel oil and gasoline increase again?
For Damien Ernst, professor at the University of Liège and specialist in energy issues, you have to prepare for it. “We currently import 700,000 barrels of diesel per day from Russia. From February 5, we no longer know how to import them, they will have to come from elsewhere”he begins. An international musical chair game will follow: “Russia will sell to China, so China will no longer buy from the Middle East. It will therefore be the Middle East that will sell to Europe, which will cost more since the travel time will be longer”.
In total, 3 factors can impact fuel oil and diesel prices: the journey, the reorganization of distribution, and finally, China, which has reopened to the world, which leads to an increase in the consumption of a barrel of oil, details Damien Ernst on the set of the show. According to him, “petrol could therefore also rise again”. In fact, all petroleum products could be impacted, he explains: “I fear that we pay much more for oil, and especially all refined products such as diesel”. He even advises refueling now rather than waiting.
We cannot predict whether there will be an increase or not.
For Jean-Benoît Schrans, spokesperson for the Belgian oil federation Energia, this speech is a bit alarmist: “I do not entirely share Mr. Ernst’s concerns, but we must remain vigilant. For now, the only certainty there is are the uncertainties of the market. Today it is impossible to predict the impact of this embargo on the price at the pump”, he believes.
In December, for example, the embargo on crude oil did not necessarily lead to an increase in the price at the pump, recalls Jean-Benoît Schrans. “There are many elements that come into play: the geopolitical situation, the balance between supply and demand, and diesel stocks. All these elements mean that we cannot predict whether there will be an increase or not.he explains.
For him, the only thing that could impact prices is that we will import diesel from the Middle East: “The logistics flow will be longer, it could impact the price, but in a limited way”he believes.
Towards an increase in excise duties on the energy bill?
Gas and electricity prices are falling. The federal government should therefore stop the aid of 196 euros per month for gas and electricity, granted to households since November 2022. But Alexander De Croo mentioned a possible increase in excise duties, which would inflate the bill energy of an average family of around 20 euros per month.
But not all parties in power see this in a good light. The Socialists, for example, want to wait until the drop is “durable and efficient“. Marie-Christine Marghem, federal deputy MR, is also of this opinion: “We must not take back with one hand what we have given with the other. This project is premature, we must think about the implementation to be sure of being in a period where prices are stable and normal , as in June 2021. We must not push the populationshe believes.
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