Overview in data and graphics: Tank discount fails, especially for diesel

As a result of the fuel price brake, fuel prices in Germany are expected to fall significantly from June 1, 2022.

Overview in data and graphics: Tank discount fails, especially for diesel

As a result of the fuel price brake, fuel prices in Germany are expected to fall significantly from June 1, 2022. Daily updated ntv.de graphics show: So far, the relief has only partially reached the pumps. Especially with diesel it doesn't work at all.

The fuel price brake has been in effect in Germany since June 1, 2022. The political idea behind it: With the reduction in the energy tax on petrol and diesel, which is limited to the end of August 2022, the fuel prices, which have risen sharply since the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine on February 24, are intended to reduce the burden on citizens. The cost of the tax waiver for the state is estimated at around 3 billion euros. Money that should remain with the consumers - provided that the tax cut reaches the intended extent. Whether and how the fuel price brake works is evaluated by n-tv.de in graphics that are updated daily.

For the first full week with the applicable fuel price brake, the n-tv.de evaluation of the daily average prices for premium petrol E5, premium E10 and diesel shows what was predicted in advance and repeatedly and severely criticized by the ADAC: So far, the price reductions at the petrol pumps have lagged behind the expected price reductions.

The prices from May 31 to June 1 dropped sharply: by around 27 cents each for premium petrol E5 and Super E10 and around 11 cents for diesel. Since then, however, they have been increasing again, although the tank discount was not even passed on in full before.

The basis of the n-tv.de evaluation are the officially validated nationwide average prices of the market transparency office for fuels (MTS-K) as well as provisional approximate values ​​calculated by n-tv.de for the average prices on days without validated data. Due to the great public interest, the validated price data have been published weekly by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) since March; they are currently available until June 5, 2022. To calculate the provisional prices, n-tv.de uses the data published daily as open data by the "Tankerkönig" portal, which is approved by the MTS-K as the official consumer information service.

The fuel price in Germany consists of two main components: On the one hand, the product price for premium petrol E5, premium E10 and diesel, which the oil companies set in each case. On the other hand, from fixed taxes and the value added tax that the state charges. The fixed taxes are the energy tax, the CO2 price and the oil storage tax.

The following list shows the shares in the total price per liter of fuel with and without a fuel price brake:

Value added tax is levied on the "net sales price", which the Federal Ministry of Finance defines as the sum of the product price and fixed taxes. This means that value added tax is also payable on the fixed charges.

If the oil companies were to pass the full price reduction through the fuel price brake on to citizens, the liter price for petrol (E5 and E10) would have to fall by 35.1465 cents. Of this, 29.55 cents are due to the reduced energy tax and 5.6145 cents to the reduced VAT (19 percent of 29.55 cents). In the case of diesel, it would be a total of 16.7076 cents per liter (reduction in energy tax by 14.04 cents 2.6676 cents VAT reduction).

Before the fuel price brake came into effect, the liter price for petrol at the pump consisted of about half the product price set by the corporations as well as taxes and levies. In the case of diesel, the Group's share was slightly higher due to the tax privileges for this fuel. The conditions for both petrol and diesel have shifted noticeably since June 1st. The following graphic shows the development over the past 10 days, with the values ​​from May 30th being based on the provisional approximate values ​​for the nationwide average prices calculated by n-tv.de:

The higher group share of the price per liter is not surprising per se. With a largely unchanged product price, it inevitably results from the reduced energy tax, since this reduces the share of the price attributable to taxes and levies. The following graphic illustrates the effect with E5 premium petrol as an example.

However, the observed increase to over 62 percent for Super E5 and even more than 63 percent for diesel cannot be explained with the tax relief alone. An additional, albeit much lower, increase is due to the fact that the product price determined by the companies has also been increasing in absolute terms since June 1, 2022: for premium petrol E5 from previously around 1.13 euros to more than 1.24 euros at times (10 percent ), for the Super E10 from 1.08 euros to 1.19 euros (11 percent) and for diesel from 1.16 euros to 1.24 euros (7 percent). In addition to the costs of production, transport, distribution and product procurement (e.g. the price of crude oil), the product price also includes the profit per liter of fuel sold.

Even if various supply and demand effects play a role in the complex pricing structure and the margin for corporations and refineries cannot simply be determined as the difference between the product price and the price of crude oil: So far - as was widely feared - a significant part of the state tank rebate actually seems to seep away to the mineral oil corporations .

The following graphic shows the daily decrease in the average price for each fuel since June 1 - each measured against the last average price before the fuel price brake came into effect and in relation to the theoretically expected decrease of 35.2 cents for petrol and 16.7 cents for diesel.

A comparison of the three fuels shows that, especially with diesel, the fuel price brake is hardly slowing down. On June 1, 2022, an average of more than 70 percent of the theoretically possible tank discount was realized there. Within a week, this value dropped rapidly again by June 8 - most recently to less than 25 percent.

Saskia Esken, co-chair of the SPD, called on "ntv Frühstart" for quick political intervention in pricing: "In the end, the tax cut will end up in the pockets of the oil industry, that's not okay. We didn't want to introduce subsidies for oil companies ." For Marcel Fratzscher, President of the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin, the tank discount has already failed. He calls for the emergency brake on the fuel price brake - in favor of other, more effective measures.

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