Enemalta has announced that the price of unleaded petrol has gone up 5 cents, while that of diesel has gone down 3 cents. Enemalta said that the new prices reflected the prices fetched by Enemalta for the latest shipments of imported fuel.
The latest unleaded consignment was based on July Platts prices. The average unleaded Platts prices in July to date rose by 7.76% over the month of June. In addition to the increase in the international petrol prices, the euro currency has also considerably weakened against the US dollar, making unleaded imports more costly to purchase. This explains the €0.05 cents increase brought about in August petrol prices.
With respect to diesel, a consignment was recorded end of June which as a result was based on June Platts prices. This consignment was reflected in the corporation’s opening stock levels for the month of July. The average unleaded Platts prices in June fell by 9.83% over the month of May. This primarily explains the €0.03 cents drop brought about in August diesel prices.
During the month of July, ICE Brent crude prices rose by 6.23% over June prices (see Figure 1). In fact, Brent crude oil prices rallied over $18.50/bbl from their June lows. The rally was primarily driven by tighter physical oil markets due to the US and European Union sanctions against Iran, which have reduced Iranian crude oil exports to as little as 1.0 million b/d recently from 2.4 million b/d in 2011, a loss equal to that from Libya last year. Goldman Sachs recently reported that while the sanctions against Iran are tightening the crude market, the refined product markets remain quite firm, indicating that world oil demand has not been severely weakened by the slower pace of world economic growth.
According to the latest Oil Prices Bulletin published by the European Commission, as at 23 July 2012, both petrol and diesel prices in Malta are ranked 12th cheapest out of the other 27 European Countries. The report also shows that consumer petrol and diesel prices in Malta are below the EU weighted averages of EUR 1.626/ltr and EUR 1.488/ltr respectively. The published prices are inclusive of duties and taxes.
During the month of July 2012, the euro currency has continued to weaken on average against the US dollar. EUR/USD rate dropped to an average level of $1.2300 in July compared to June average rate of $1.2526. In July the euro tumbled to a two-year low against the dollar pressured by weaker-than-expected German data, a day after Moody’s warned of fallout from Europe’s debt crisis on the region’s strongest economies.
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