Drivers got hit with substantial price hikes at the petrol pump on Tuesday, with officials saying the public should probably brace for even more bad news.

Spokesman for the association of petrol station owners Christodoulos Christodoulou reported the following price increases kicking in on the day: 3.5 cents for Unleaded 95, 1.5 cents for Unleaded 98, 4.5 cents for diesel, and 5 cents for heating fuel.

Head of the commerce ministry’s Consumer Protection Service Constantinos Karagiorgis attributed the latest developments to the price increases imposed by oil refineries globally.

In the space of a month, said Karagiorgis, a barrel of oil went from $75 to $85.

He was speaking to media outlet Stockwatch.

At the same time, there is more demand for oil from China and from European countries like Spain, Italy and France.

The official said that due to the geopolitical situation, and its impact on oil markets, no safe predictions can be made on when the price rises might halt.

From July 1, when the discount on fuel excise tax expired, fuel prices have jumped by about 8 cents a litre. And only last week, prices shot up by 12 cents for petrol and diesel.

Earlier, head of the consumers association Marios Droushiotis had warned of coming price hikes, adding that the largest increases concerned Unleaded 98.

The cheapest Unleaded 98 was recorded in petrol stations in Nicosia and Larnaca for €1.479 a litre. This was a jump from €1.449 – the cheapest price recorded on July 21.

The most expensive Unleaded 98 went for €1.658 in petrol stations in Larnaca.

For Unleaded 95 petrol, the lowest price is seen in Nicosia, going for €1.454. Nicosia petrol stations also accounted for the highest price recorded at €1.564.

For diesel, the lowest price came to €1.477, likewise in Nicosia. The most expensive diesel on the market went for €1.596, again in the capital.

Compared to the rest of the European Union, up until July 31 Cyprus had the fifth cheapest price for Unleaded 95 at €1.492.

According to the latest issue of the Oil Bulletin prepared by the European Commission, up until July 31 the average price of Unleaded 95 in Cyprus was €1.492, while diesel averaged out at €1.521.