Swiss Price Monitor to investigate excessive cost markups at fuel pumps
The Swiss Price Monitor has said that it is investigating excessively high markups on the cost of petrol and diesel in Switzerland. Media outlets have noted that while the cost of crude oil has returned to levels seen before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, prices at the pump remain stubbornly high.
Crude oil prices fall as petrol costs remain high in Switzerland
According to Blick, the cost of crude oil has fallen significantly in recent months. From a peak of 128 dollars a barrel in March 2022, Brent Crude Oil prices fell to 95 dollars a barrel on Wednesday - roughly the cost of oil before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
However, according to the Swiss Touring Club, the price of a litre of petrol has only fallen by 10 rappen (cents) over the last month, with drivers still expected to pay 2,14 francs a litre in most stations. Blick concluded that prices in Swiss cities are still extremely high, despite oil prices decreasing significantly.
Fuel providers accused of excessive markups
According to Blick, the disparity between the price of crude oil, petrol and diesel has sparked accusations of “excessive markups” by fuel providers. CH Media noted that, "If there was a direct link between the price of crude oil and the price of fuel, gasoline should cost 1,89 francs per litre, the same price as in February this year."
This accusation has been denied by the fuel industry. Ramon Werner, a spokesperson from Oel-Pool - the leading supplier of fuel in Switzerland - explained that crude oil and fuels are two separate commodities. He noted that fuel costs set by the Stock Exchange in Rotterdam were completely separate and independent from the Brent system used for crude oil.
Swiss Price Watchdog to investigate petrol prices
Despite assurances from the fuel suppliers, the official Price Watchdog for Switzerland has announced that it will be investigating whether the industry is charging “unjustifiably high markups.” According to Blick, this may include determining whether fuel stations are willing to cut prices now as quickly as they were willing to raise them earlier in the year.
Deputy Price Monitor Beat Niederhauser told CH Media that, “We have received many messages in which it is assumed that crude oil price increases are passed through more quickly than corresponding decreases.” In all, he said that the Price Monitor was calling for more transparency from oil producers and suppliers, so that better prices are passed on quickly.