Slovnaft cleared of price fixing allegation

ONE OF the biggest fuel vendors in Slovakia, oil refinery Slovnaft, has decreased the price of petrol by 28.3 cents per litre and the price of diesel by 24.3 cents per litre since last summer. 

(Source: Sme)

This decrease was, according to available statistics, higher than the overall Slovak average, head of the company Oszkár Világi told the press after meeting with Economy Minister Pavol Pavlis.

“This proves that there is broad competition in Slovakia, both in the retail and wholesale sector,” Világi said, as quoted by the SITA newswire. According to him, the long-term fuel prices in Slovakia are below the European Union’s average.

Pavlis, who checked Slovnaft’s price calculations after several media outlets had criticised the high fuel prices in Slovakia, did not find any dubious practices. At a meeting with the refinery’s representatives he was informed that every country creates the prices with a certain time delay.

“In the case of Slovakia it has been proven several times that the prices tend to rise slower when the prices of oil rise steeply, which from the consumer’s point of view is a fairer approach, especially when we realise that from the long-term point of view the prices of oil and fuels in stock exchanges rise rather than fall,” Pavlis said, as quoted by SITA.

The minister added that they will monitor the development of prices also in the future.

Representatives of Slovnaft also said they do not see further space for decreasing fuel prices, due to the rising of the prices of oil on the global markets.

“The prices are stabilised and we have hit the bottom,” Világi said, as quoted by SITA. Since Slovakia gradually decreases the prices, drivers will fill up on cheaper fuels also over the following months, he added.

The statistics published by the company showed that in Europe there are countries where the difference between the most expensive and the cheapest fuels oscillates between 10 and 30 cents. Slovakia belongs to the former group, Pavlis said.

The minister added they do not plan to visit other refineries, though he did not exclude such a possibility for the future.

He also said that the very cheap prices abroad may be caused by the fact that the vendors sell fuels of lower quality, as reported by SITA.

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