While fuel prices continue to tirelessly increase, weighing heavily on household budgets, the government - through Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne - has just announced this weekend that selling fuel at a loss will be possible. "early December". A measure often considered taboo that the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire confirmed this Monday: “It will be effective from the beginning of December, I hope on December 1st since the text of the law will be examined in the Assembly at the beginning of october". This was all it took to arouse the anger of distributors - particularly the smallest and independent ones - who assert that they "absolutely will not be able to match these prices" and that they "will not be able to hold on without the 'State aid".
Production cuts from Saudi Arabia, reduction in exports from Russia and dismal forecasts of a shortage of supply of black gold in the fourth quarter... The government continues to remind us of the external causes of this increase which is painful. -currency of the French, and over which he has no control. During the summer, fuel prices started to rise again, coming close to the symbolic threshold of two euros, in the wake of the surge in oil prices. The barrel of Brent threatened to reach 95 dollars this Monday, its highest level in years. And its price on the markets could continue to soar. Enough to considerably increase the final bill for distributors and the consumer.
To this first element, which represents around 40% of the total price of a liter of diesel, are added the costs linked to the refining of crude oil, as well as the costs of transport, storage and distribution of the product borne by manufacturers . These are taken into account by distributors in order to establish the final price. Finally, companies calculate a margin. It is particularly low for large distribution players, such as Leclerc, and it “constitutes the smallest part of the price of fuel, since it represents on average only one euro cent per liter of unleaded or diesel withdrawn at the station, or less than 1% of the price at the pump,” according to TotalEnergies.
All these elements taken into account, we are still not at half the final price of fuel. The rest - the lion's share, between 49% and 55% of the price charged - comes from the public authorities: this is the tax on fuels, deliberately heavy, mainly in order to push motorists to change their behavior and to obtain more modern, less fuel-efficient and less polluting vehicles.
In summary, taxation accounts for half of the total fuel price, or more, the rest coming from the cost of the raw material, the cost of which remains high, and the costs linked to its distribution. The weight of taxes per liter has fallen in recent years as the price of the raw material soared. We then better understand the calls from opposition parties such as the 40 million motorists association for the State to lower taxes on filling up with gasoline. Once again this Monday, the association thus “enjoined the State to reduce the tax pressure on road fuels, by lowering the VAT rate to 5.5% instead of 20% or by introducing a capped TICPE” . But, knowing the windfall that the TICPE represents for public finances, we also understand Bercy's reluctance to let go. Because any reduction in fuel tax, even temporary, will then be difficult to cancel, from a political point of view.