Fuel importers ‘not cheats’ as €100 fill-up looms

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Fuel import company representatives refute accusations they are profiteering as motorists brace themselves for more oil price hikes that will cost over €100 to fill up an average car.

Experts warn that pump prices are expected to hit €2 per litre in the coming days – which would cost €110 to fill up an average 55-litre petrol tank.

Talking to state radio CyBC, Petrolina’s CEO Dinos Lefkaritis argued that profiteering allegations were unfounded, indicating that oil companies are controlled very strictly.

“We are not thieves; we are not making extravagant profits. Companies have actually been holding fuel prices down,” argued Lefkaritis.

“Normally, prices in Cyprus should have already broken the €2 barrier”.

Lefkaritis argued that oil companies are also confronted with mountain-high obstacles – one of which is decreased demand as drivers restrict their movements to absolute essential ones these days.

He said Petrolina’s company results “are not good”.

In comments to the Financial Mirror, the head of the Cyprus Consumers’ Association, Marios Drousiotis, disputed fuel import companies’ claims, noting that his association has recorded serious indications of foul play.

“Things simply do not add up. Companies argue that they are not profiteering, and prices are adjusted according to the price with which they import their latest cargo.

“They receive a new shipment every 15 days. So why do we see prices increase twice in just one week?”

Drousiotis argued that while prices in Cyprus are rising, prices in Europe have declined.

“According to our data, within the span of a month, starting from March 28, the price of 95 Octane petrol in Europe decreased by 6.8 cents, while in Cyprus it increased by 5.1 cents.

“Diesel decreased by 12.6 cents in Europe, while in our country, it increased by 3.2.”

According to the Commerce Ministry’s Consumer Protection Department, the average price of 95 Octane petrol on Thursday was €1.784per litre, for 98 Octane €1.835and Diesel €1.859.

Under current prices, it costs €96.14 to fill up an average car with 95 Octane and €102.24 with diesel.