Fuel prices unlikely to be stable

Alan Heath
04-01-2002, 00:00

International factors this year are likely to play a bigger role in the price of fuel than they have done for many years. Currently OPEC is trying to limit production in order to stop the price of oil falling. At the beginning of the year they agreed to limit production by 6.5 percent or 1.5m barrels per day. However the behaviour of those countries such as Russia which do not form part of OPEC is in question.

The price of petrol at the pumps has recently been more effected by government policy than anything else. At the beginning of the year there was a 2.6 percent increase in excise duty equivalent to four groszy a litre on petrol and three groszy per litre on diesel.

Producers such as PKN Orlen and Rafineria Gdanska used this as an excuse to put up their prices. With price variations between individual petrol stations now around ten percent, these increases are hidden even more.

What could have a major effect on petrol prices is PLN. At its current strong rate petrol is comparitively cheap. However the government is putting increasingly more pressure on the monetary policy committee of the central bank which may be forced to radically reduce interest rates with the consequent fall in the value of the Polish currency.

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