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No more crude oil from Russia – is the price of diesel rising again?

First Europe stopped importing Russian coal, followed by crude oil, and from this weekend oil products such as petrol and diesel will no longer be allowed to be imported.

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No more crude oil from Russia – is the price of diesel rising again?

First Europe stopped importing Russian coal, followed by crude oil, and from this weekend oil products such as petrol and diesel will no longer be allowed to be imported.

At the same time, a price cap for such products is planned. WELT explains what this means for drivers in Germany.

Germany received almost exclusively diesel from Russia. Therefore, the supply of petrol, which comes from local refineries, European countries, the USA and the Far East, is not affected.

With the current replenishment of diesel, however, experts do not see any restrictions on drivers. "I don't expect any relevant supply problems at the petrol station with diesel. The preparation time for stocking up with other deliveries was long enough for that,” says Jürgen Albrecht, an expert on the fuel market at ADAC.

Nobody in the fuel business can have an interest in a shortage. The mineral oil association Fuels and Energy also sees no supply gap.

Last year, Germany covered 12.5 percent of diesel consumption with deliveries from Russia. This is now being replaced by Saudi Arabia, for example.

A price increase after such a change is possible at any time. But the trend is still going in the other direction, at least for diesel. "For some time now, the prices for diesel and petrol have been converging again," says ADAC expert Albrecht.

According to the data, the national average price difference is 4.5 cents. "This is also thanks to a competition that is currently working again in parts," says Albrecht.

Reasons for the drop in diesel prices are the decreasing demand for heating oil from private customers as well as from industry. Both products are almost identical in their manufacture in the refineries.

In recent months, industrial companies have switched to diesel to replace gas-fired power generation. This effect is now gone because of the lower gas prices. However, at the beginning of February, no one knows whether winter will return – then diesel prices could also increase again.

There are many indications that there will hardly be any peaks like last year at the gas stations. "If you look at the basic data for the price of crude oil and the exchange rate between the euro and the dollar, diesel should be cheaper than petrol, just as it was before the corona pandemic," says ADAC expert Albrecht.

The fact that the state collects around 20 cents less in taxes per liter on diesel sales speaks for a price difference. The nationwide average price is currently 1.81 euros per liter of diesel. A trend reversal towards rising prices is not in sight.

It's a balancing act: Brussels is planning a price cap for oil products that will reduce Russia's revenues but keep global trade in diesel, gasoline and lubricants going. European shipping companies are no longer allowed to deliver Russian refinery products to third countries from Sunday. Unless the price per barrel is below a certain threshold. The ambassadors of the member states are still negotiating how high this threshold should be.

The EU Commission is proposing $100 per barrel of diesel. Some countries are asking for a lower value to put more pressure on Putin, including Poland. Others, for example Germany, prefer not to set the limit too low, out of concern that bottlenecks might otherwise arise.

Anyone who speaks to European diplomats in Brussels hears over and over again that things are getting complicated. Because the path of processed products is much more difficult to trace than that of crude oil. Exactly where oil products come from can often no longer be determined after their long journeys through global networks of pipelines and ports.

For example, Russia could supply diesel to India, Saudi Arabia or Turkey. There refineries then mix in further components - and sell everything as fuel in the EU. Experts also fear so-called "ship-to-ship transfers". Tankers hand over their goods to other ships on the high seas. This allows the origin of the freight to be disguised. It should therefore be impossible to completely ban Russian fuels from Europe.

"Everything on shares" is the daily stock exchange shot from the WELT business editorial team. Every morning from 7 a.m. with our financial journalists. For stock market experts and beginners. Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Amazon Music and Deezer. Or directly via RSS feed.

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