Petrol stations blame oil firms for rising pump prices

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Petrol station owners joined consumer outrage over more price shocks as pump prices on Friday went up by another 6-9 cents per litre.

In comments to CyBC TV, the Cyprus Petrol Station Owners spokesperson, Christodoulos Christodoulou, said oil companies have large storage facilities, unlike private petrol stations.

“This means that when fuel prices go up, companies can sell their existing stock, which they had bought with the lower price, at the new increased one.

“This morning (Friday), a specific company has already increased prices, adding some nine cents to the price of the 95 Octane petrol, eight cents in 98-octane petrol, six cents on diesel.”

Although he didn’t name the company, it was Petrolina.

Christodoulou said that companies could ‘play around with their reserves and prices’ with bigger storage and inside information when prices will be going up.

He said the other franchise petrol stations would have to follow suit, as the cost of importing oil is rising.

“Either during the day or Saturday, all petrol stations will be applying increases,” said Christodoulou.

Earlier last week, he warned motorists they were in for a financial jolt as petrol station owners warned that pump prices would hit €2 per litre.

Meanwhile, consumer groups have cried profiteering at fuel companies for some time.

In comments to the Financial Mirror, President of the Cyprus Consumers Union and Quality of Life, Loucas Aristodemou, said fuel companies are unjustifiably pushing prices up.

“The price of diesel today is over €1.80, with the price of crude oil at around $110 a barrel. Not too long ago, the price of crude oil was $130, with the price of diesel at €1.50,” said Aristodemou.

He argued that no oil company or authority has come out to explain why this is the case.

“We have recorded that petrol companies push prices up when the price of crude oil goes up.

“Fair enough. But the tendency is that they do not bring prices back down when the price of crude oil drops.

“They keep the prices up and build with the next increase.”

According to the Commerce Ministry’s Consumer Protection Department, the average price of 95 Octane petrol on Friday was €1.747 per litre, for 98 Octane €1.799 and Diesel €1.83.