• Sun. Oct 24th, 2021

Fuels: update on the explosion in prices at the pump – archyde


Oct 14, 2021

Assessment of the evolution of gasoline and diesel prices in France, at their highest for ten years, and the share of taxes in the total price.

(illustration) (AFP / PASCAL GUYOT)

During the first week of October 2021, diesel reached an all-time high of 1.5354 euros per liter on average in France, and 1.6332 per liter of unleaded 95, close to the last highest dating from 2012.


The decade 2010 opened with a liter of diesel at an average of 1.06 euros, and 1.26 for the SP95, according to the weekly statements of the Ministry of Ecological Transition, which publishes these historical data on its website.

Prices rise to the point of provoking tensions and government intervention in the summer of 2012: a temporary reduction in the TICPE (internal consumption tax on energy products, which follows on from the TIPP, internal tax on petroleum products) of three cents, accompanied by an effort by industrialists.

In August 2012, the average price of gasoline had almost reached 1.65 euros per liter, and diesel almost 1.46 euros. From autumn 2016, prices start to rise again. Diesel climbs from less than 1.12 euros / L at the end of September 2016, to more than 1.53 euros in mid-October 2018, fueling the triggering of the yellow vests movement.

Prices remained at high levels for several months: again according to figures from the ministry, diesel reached nearly 1.49 euros / L the week of May 24, 2019, the SP 95 more than 1.59 euros / L.

The fall comes in 2020 with the economic crisis linked to the Covid-19 pandemic. In four months, between mid-January and mid-May 2020, the liter of diesel goes from 1.49 euros to less than 1.16 euros, and that of SP95 from just under 1.55 euros to 1.23 euro.

TICPE, excluding regional modulations, has been frozen since 2018 for diesel (59.40 centimes per liter) and SP95-E5 (68.29 centimes).

Graph showing the evolution of the sale price of diesel, Unleaded 95 and Unleaded 98 in France from January 2016 to October 2021 (AFP /)

Graph showing the evolution of the sale price of diesel, Unleaded 95 and Unleaded 98 in France from January 2016 to October 2021 (AFP /)

Share of taxes

According to data from the French Union of Petroleum Industries, which analyzes the composition of fuel prices each week, taxes (TICPE, VAT) currently account for a little less than 60% of the price of a liter of SP95, and a little more 56% for diesel. Since 2013, the catching up in the taxation between the two fuels has been rapid: the internal tax on diesel consumption has increased three times faster than that on gasoline.

For the rest, the price of crude oil represented about 31% of the total price for gasoline, a third for gas oil. As for distribution costs, they amounted to more or less 10% of the price at the pump: of the order of 1 to 2 cents per liter.