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Motorists get breather from soaring pump prices

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Cypriot motorists have got a respite from rising pump prices, as petrol and diesel fell by 17 and 11 cents per litre, respectively, compared to a month ago, as crude oil is selling at its lowest price since the Ukraine war.

According to Bloomberg, Brent was trending at $99.63 per barrel on Friday, being pushed to under $100 a barrel for the first time since Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February.

The average price of unleaded 95 octane in Cyprus is €1.655 (€1.575 to €1.881); diesel is sold at an average of €1.880 (€1,818 to €1,998) per litre, and heating oil €1.443 (€1.393 to €1.570).

Compared to the prices on 12 July, when fuel prices hit an all-time high, Petrol 95 Octane has dropped by 17.1 cents per litre on average, Diesel prices dipped by 10.9 cents and heating oil by 7.4 cents per litre.

A month ago, Petrol 95 prices had breached the €1.80 mark, while diesel had surpassed the €2 barrier.

The latest developments have encouraged motorists who hope to see prices go even further down in the coming weeks, as petrol companies expect shipments with fuel bought at a lower price than their last delivery.

However, prices are still higher than at the beginning of the year, when, on average, a litre of Petrol 95 Octane was 34 cents cheaper, Diesel 46.2 and heating oil by 50.8 cents.

In an announcement on Friday, the Energy Ministry noted that Cyprus does not import crude oil but finished refined products such as petrol, diesel, and heating oil.

“For the pricing of finished, refined products imported into Cyprus, the Platts Basis Italy daily index is used for each fuel type.”

It said the retail prices of petroleum products in Cyprus are affected by many factors, such as import costs, the stocks held by the fuel companies at the time of the import, the exchange rate of the dollar against the euro and taxes imposed by the state.

According to the Statistical Services, Cyprus recorded a record inflation rate in July, as it increased by 10.9% year on year, driven by hikes in electricity and fuel.

The previous highest inflation rate Cyprus witnessed was 10.8% in December 1981.

In July, annual electricity prices rose 61.7% and fuel 44.1%, according to CyStat data.