Petrol prices still high despite low oil cost

Pumping diesel at petrol stations

The price of crude oil has almost halved over the past year, but this price decline has had little effect on the price of petrol and diesel. Over the same period, the petrol price decreased by an average of only 5.1 percent.

This is according to figures released by Statistics Netherlands on Monday. Statistics Netherlands attributes the small decrease in the petrol price mainly to the government's fixed taxes on gasoline and the weaker euro.

In July 2014 a barrel of crude oil cost 101 dollars, compared to 53 dollars this year. A liter of petrol cost an average of 1.75 euros in July last year and 1.66 euro this year.

According to Statistics Netherlands, the most important price determinant is the state taxes. In July 2015 nearly two thirds - 63.9 percent - of the petrol price consisted of taxes, such as excise tax, tax on stock and VAT. In the selling price of 1.66 euros for a liter of Euro95, 1.06 euros is taxes - 77 cents on excise duty and stock tax and 29 cents on VAT. This means that the lower crude oil price only affects the remaining 60 cents, which includes the cost of crude oil, production costs, distribution costs and margins of the various market processes.

Another damper on the petrol price is the euro's exchange rate. In July last year one euro cost 1.35 dollars, compared to 1.10 dollars this year. Crude oil is traded in US dollars. The weaker euro means that while the price for a barrel of crude oil decreased 47.5 percent in dollars, it only decreased 35.3 percent in euros.

In addition to taxes and the euro, where you choose to refuel also makes a large distance. In July this year the prices at an unmanned pump was an average of 11 cents per liter lower than at a manned filling station on the highway. At a manned station in town the price was on average 7 cents per liter lower than on the highway.