31.08.2022, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Duisburg: Lange Schlangen an einer Tankstelle in Duisburg am letzten Tag der Steuersenkung auf den Spritpreis. Am 1. September endet der sogenannte ·Tankrabatt· bundesweit. Foto: Christoph Reichwein/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

The reduction in the energy tax on fuels, which was lifted at midnight, is clearly noticeable at many petrol stations.

This is shown by a quick evaluation of the prices at almost 400 petrol stations in Munich, Berlin and Hamburg between 6 a.m. and 6.30 a.m. on Thursday by the German Press Agency using ADAC fuel price data.

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The prices at many petrol stations were significantly higher than in the same period on Wednesday.

E10 premium petrol cost more than 2 euros at many petrol stations around 9 a.m. on Thursday morning. On Wednesday, the last day of the tax reduction on fuel known as the tank discount, a liter of E10 still cost an average of 1.792 euros, according to ADAC. According to an initial assessment by the ADAC, the price rose by around 25 cents on average nationwide compared to the previous day.

Diesel, on the other hand, already cost an average of 2.086 euros on Wednesday. On Thursday, the diesel price at most petrol stations was well above 2.10 euros, sometimes even more than 2.30 euros.

Arithmetically, the price of the E10 could increase by 17 cents as a result of the repeal of the 35 cent tax cut for diesel. However, prices had already risen significantly in the past two weeks.

In addition, petrol station operators also bought at the reduced tax rate until Wednesday and could therefore initially sell petrol and diesel more cheaply. So it could be a while before the cancellation of the tax cut – also known as the tank discount – has a full impact on customers.

From the ADAC point of view, there is no basis for this recent price increase, said ADAC spokeswoman Katrin van Randenborgh. The pricing of the corporations had repeatedly triggered discussions since March – above all, whether the corporations really pass on the tax cut to the customers.

Even at the end of the discount, opinions continue to differ. “The energy tax cut has been widely passed on,” said Adrian Willig, chief executive of the Fuel and Energy trade association (EN2X), which includes companies such as BP, Shell, Totalenergies and Eni. “The reasons for current price increases are increased demand, tight capacities in refineries and logistical challenges,” Willig continued.

The expert Manuel Frondel from the RWI Leibniz Institute for Economic Research sees it similarly: The discount was “essentially” passed on, he said – but special factors such as the low water in the Rhine then reduced its effect again.

The ADAC sees it differently: “In the overall balance, we find that the tax reduction has not fully reached the consumer,” said Jürgen Albrecht, the club’s fuel price expert, the German Press Agency.

“In view of the low taxation and the recently low oil price, that was very adequate for the industry, which can also be seen in the quarterly figures of the large corporations and the record margins of the refineries.” wholesale prices, not crude oil prices.