Norway, Italy and the Netherlands have the most expensive gasoline in Europe, according to research prepared by the agency RIA Rating, while Russia comes in toward the bottom – but it’s in the top 10 according to rates of price growth.
In 2012, the cost of fuel grew in an overwhelming majority of European countries, so that in many of them, the cost of filling the tank rose more than the general level of inf lation. Further, by the beginning of 2013, disproportionate prices for gasoline remained in different European countries, frequently not tied to the state of the economy, the presence of oil or the standard of living. Fuel prices and their dynamic remain, above all, very strongly dependent not only on oil prices, but on the economic and social policy of each individual state. This is especially characteristic of European Union countries.
In accordance with the ranking prepared by RIA Rating, at the beginning of 2013, the most expensive gasoline on the continent is sold in oil-producing Norway: retail prices for fuel are one of the sources of the country’s socially oriented budget. The cost of 95-grade gasoline coming out of official data, converted to rubles, amounts to an average of 77.30 rubles per liter.
Among the leaders of the ranking are also found the economically problematic Italy, at 69.70 rubles per liter, and one of the leading oil-refining countries in Europe, the Netherlands, at 69.00 rubles. One year ago, the Netherlands occupied fourth place in the rating, ceding its place in the troika to collapsing Greece, where, with the help of a fiscal burden on fuel, the authorities continued to try to ease the country’s debt. The Netherlands went up in the rankings thanks to the high rate of fuel price growth last year, more than two times the country’s rising level of inf lation. For this same reason, Denmark came in fourth: there, fuel prices, or – more accurately – their tax component also serve as a funding source for social programs.
Greece has come down to fifth place, with a price per liter of 95-grade fuel of 67.00 rubles. Prices grew more slowly (and, for diesel, even fell) because of a continuing reduction in demand.
At the lowest rank, as in the results for 2011, is Belarus, where gasoline prices are regulated by the state. A liter of 95-grade gasoline at the start of 2013 cost 27.40 Russian rubles, in conversion. In the lower troika were also found oil-producing Kazakhstan, at 28.60 rubles per liter, and, rising one place over the past year, Russia, with an average price of 30.80 rubles.
Norway (70.13 rubles per liter), Britain (68.50 rubles) and Italy (67.60 rubles) form the top three for diesel fuel, while the cheapest diesel fuel is available in Kazakhstan, Belarus and Russia.
The largest fuel price growth in Europe for the year – 27.9 percent – was seen in currencydevaluing Belarus, with Cyprus at 12.3 percent and Slovenia at 11.9 percent following behind. Russia took seventh place in 2012, with 8.4 percent price growth.
Still, in the fourth quarter of 2012, European prices started to decline across the board. Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan were exceptions to the rule, the only countries where the price of fuel had grown at the end of the year in comparison with September. These increases were related to the orientation of fuel prices in the Customs Union to the Russian market. Therefore, in the fourth quarter, when a seasonal fall in demand and in prices for motor vehicle fuel started, oil companies in Russia sought actively to compensate for their losses from a forced price freeze in the preelection period.
As a rule, absolute price is not used as a standard for access to fuel, but the amount of fuel someone can get for an average net salary. According to RIA Rating, at the start of 2013, residents of Luxembourg could buy more gas for their salary than anyone else in Europe, 2,300 liters per month. In second place is the country with the most expensive gasoline in Europe, Norway, whose residents can buy 1,900 liters of fuel per month thanks to high incomes. Denmark closes out the top three here, also because of high income levels.
The least amount of gasoline in Europe for an average salary can be purchased by a resident of Bulgaria, only 201 liters of 95-grade per month. Ukraine and Romania also appear in the bottom three according to this ranking. Russia appears in the exact middle, 16th place out of the 32 countries included in the ranking. The average Russian is able to buy 758 liters of gasoline per month for his salary, slightly more than a resident of Portugal or Greece, and 1½ to two times more than his Eastern European neighbors, residents of Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary.