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Fuel prices in Slovakia drop slowly

DRIVERS in Slovakia pay higher prices for fuels than the regional average. Moreover, they see the changes with the biggest delay among the entire central European region. 

(Source: Sme)

This stems from the study of the Financial Policy Institute (IFP) which runs under the Finance Ministry.

The data confirm the price imbalance and that the fuel prices rise quicker than they fall, the authors of the study said, as reported by the Sme daily.

The transfer of the trading price of petrol to the retail prices in Slovakia is the slowest in the region. While it takes here up to six weeks, in Austria and Hungary it is only two weeks after the changes in the stock exchanges. Thus is it necessary to have more effective control of the distribution market, the IFP wrote.

Moreover, the fuel market in Slovakia is controlled by an oligopoly which is divided into several important players, the study suggests. The similar situation is, however, also in other countries. In Hungary, for example, the competition is slightly weaker than in Slovakia. Despite this fact the price imbalance has not been proven there, nor in any other country, Sme wrote.

The fuel prices in Slovakia are higher than in neighbouring counties. In the case of petrol, one of the reasons is higher excise taxes. However, even after deducting the tax the average net price of fuels is the highest. During the past 14 months drivers filled up with petrol which was 7 cents per litre more expensive than abroad, and diesel whose price was 5 cents per litre higher, the study suggests.

One of the reasons for the higher prices, according to the study, may be a less developed network of filling stations. Compared to the Czech Republic, Slovakia has three times less stations. Regarding the number of cars, however, their number is roughly the same. There are 2,000 vehicles per one filling station, as reported by Sme.

The strongest competition among the petrol stations is in Austria (1,750 cars per station), while the weakest is in Poland (2,700 cars per station).

The concentration of the Slovak retail market with fuels is slightly higher than in other countries, according to the IFP study, with the three biggest players controlling more than 40 percent of the market. The document, however, did not take into account the purchase of Agip network by Slovnaft. This will result in the increase in the market share of Slovnaft, OMV and Shell to about 50 percent, Sme wrote.

The IFP revelations, however, do not have to take into consideration the opinions of the government. The cabinet dealt with the problems of a slow decrease in prices after it was criticised by both the opposition and the media. Economy Minister Pavol Pavlis however has not found any dubious practices when setting the prices during his recent visit to Slovnaft. Even the Antimonopoly Office did not find anything suspicious, Sme reported.

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Topic: Transport


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