Fuel prices are set to increase “by four or five cents per week until at least the end of the month”, chairman of the petrol station owners’ association Christos Christodoulou said on Tuesday.
Christodoulou told newspaper Politis that the primary cause of fuel increases is the “global reduction in production”.
The forthcoming price increases will add further pressure onto an already financially squeezed population, according to consumers’ association chairman Marios Drousiotis.
He said that “since the day the fuel subsidy was ended, petrol has gone up by 22 cents [per litre].”
The consumers’ association called on the government to take action to deal with the price increases and “give consumers space to breathe.”
Speaking to the Cyprus Mail on Tuesday, he said prices had already gone up by three cents per litre overnight, and that increases on heating fuel prices could go up by as much as six cents per litre per week.
He said “the only solution is to bring back the fuel subsidy which they got rid of on July 1.”
“We have been asking the government to do this and help consumers out, but they keep telling us ‘we’ll see’ while consumers suffer,” he added.
The government is yet to take action to tackle the upcoming fuel price rises, with sources at the finance ministry telling the Cyprus Mail “we are constantly evaluating the situation to see how the market will move.
“We are searching for different ways to solve problems faced by consumers, but not action has been taken yet,” they said.
As fuel prices increase, more consumers may turn to the north to fill up their cars.
A representative of Turkish Cypriot fuel company K-Pet told the Cyprus Mail that the company is “expecting an increased number of customers from the south to visit our petrol stations in the coming weeks”.
However, they added that they expect fuel prices to drastically increase in the north as well.
“We are at the mercy of the global fuel markets. If the price of oil goes up abroad, prices have to go up here as well,” they said.
The global reduction in output has been led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, the second and third largest oil producing nations in the world.
They form part of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec+), which began limiting supplies last year with the aim of “bolstering the market.”
As a result, the benchmark price of brent crude oil breached $90 (€84) a barrel for the first time this month after Saudi Arabia and Russia extended their pledge to cut oil production.
The reduction came into effect earlier this year but had been offset by higher supplies from other countries, including the United States, Brazil, and Iran.
However, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), “from September onwards, the loss of Opec+ production … will drive a significant supply shortfall through the fourth quarter [of the year].”
In total, the reduction amounts to 1.3 million fewer barrels of oil being produced per day, which in turn drives up prices.
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