Petrol and diesel see meteoric price rises in Switzerland
Within the last few days, the cost of petrol and diesel for drivers in Switzerland has increased dramatically, as the global price of fuel rises due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the threat of more sanctions against Russia. Petrol station workers have reported angry and desperate customers, but is help on the way?
Price of petrol in Switzerland rises to 2,40 francs a litre
On average, one litre of petrol now costs 2,40 Swiss francs, up from 1,90 a litre just a week ago. Diesel has also seen meteoric rises from 2 Swiss francs to 2,65 a litre, prices not seen in Switzerland since 2008.
The main cause of the rising prices is the ongoing uncertainty in the market due to the conflict in Ukraine and the continually evolving sanctions placed on Russia by Switzerland, the EU and the US. Oil prices spiked to 139 dollars a barrel on March 8, and with the announcement that the US would stop Russian oil imports and the UK would be phasing out Russian petroleum by the end of the year, the price of oil remains volatile.
Swiss petrol station workers facing customer frustration
Petrol station employees have borne the brunt of customers' frustration, with one reporting that “cashiers have become a punching bag.” Workers were accused of trying to rip people off, after customers apparently held employees responsible for the global increase in the price of crude oil.
One petrol station attendant said that many people are afraid that prices will continue to rise, making running a vehicle impossible. 20 minuten has reported that because of the high price, many drivers are ditching the motorways for public transport or cycling, particularly in Swiss cities.
Is there any hope for cheaper petrol prices in Switzerland?
For drivers across the world, there may be a glimmer of hope. In recent days, members of the OPEC+ group - a collection of major oil exporters which includes Russia - have indicated that they are ready to increase production. Already, news that the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia were prepared to dramatically increase supply saw the price of crude oil slide back down to just 106 dollars a barrel. This is still well above 2021 prices, but a significant decrease nonetheless.
However, it is expected that amid continuing and evolving sanctions against Russia, oil prices will continue to be volatile. The American Energy Information Administration (EIA) has already warned consumers that lower oil prices will not be seen again until 2023 at the earliest.