Illustrative photo – Fuel prices at a gas station in the center of Pilsen, June 30, 2022.
Prague – Consumption of fuel in the Czech Republic increased by 2.1 percent year-on-year to 8.22 billion liters last year, despite price fluctuations. Consumption of gasoline rose by five percent to more than 2.1 billion liters, while diesel consumption increased by 1.2 percent to 6.1 billion liters. The greatest demand was in the spring, when fuel was also the most expensive. The reason was concerns about the consequences of the conflict in Ukraine. Václav Loula from the Czech Association of the Petroleum Industry and Trade (ČAPPO) told ČTK. Last spring, after the outbreak of the Russian invasion in Ukraine, fuel prices even attacked the threshold of CZK 50 per liter, at the end of the year they were sold at around CZK 37 per liter.
“The war conflict in Ukraine affected the growth of prices for energy, services and oil. In addition to the high increase in fuel prices, there was an increase in demand especially in March and April, which was influenced by motorists' fears about the lack of fuel and oil. These fears during the year, fuel consumption was negatively affected by the high costs of households for energy, housing and the rise in food prices,” said Loula.
According to the association, consumption grew most significantly in the spring. For example, in March the demand for gasoline rose by 51 percent year-on-year, high year-on-year increases were also recorded by gas stations in February or April. For diesel, the year-on-year growth in the first quarter of the year was 14 percent. In addition to concerns about the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine, the weak demand in the spring of 2021, when restrictions related to the covid pandemic applied in the Czech Republic, also contributed to the year-to-year fluctuations.
Conversely, in the summer months, the demand for fuels fell by eight percent, Loula said. According to the association, this period reflected the development of the economy at the time and the decline in purchasing power, which was negatively affected by the high prices of energy and other goods.
While diesel consumption is, despite a lower year-on-year increase, according to the association's statistics, it is the highest in the last five years and compared to 2017, it rose by 5.5 percent, while gasoline fell by one percent over the same period.
According to Loula, the influence of alternative drives and the development of electromobility on the consumption of conventional fuels is still very small. On the other hand, the consumption is continuously reduced by the modernization of the vehicle fleet with lower consumption.
Fuel prices fluctuated significantly on the market last year. At the beginning of last year, diesel was sold on average for CZK 34.97 per liter, in mid-March after the start of Russian aggression already for CZK 49.31 per liter and at the end of the year for CZK 37.86 per liter. There were similar fluctuations in gasoline prices. At the beginning of last January, a liter was sold on average for CZK 35.91, in mid-March for CZK 47.26 and at the end of December for CZK 36.40. This is according to data from CCS, which tracks prices.