Weakening Forint Results in Big Petrol Price Hike in Hungary

  • 9 Aug 2023 10:11 AM
Weakening Forint Results in Big Petrol Price Hike in Hungary
The last few weeks have been characterized by a steady rise in petrol prices, with no end in sight to what has been a very bad trend for motorists. From Wednesday, fuel prices will rise again, although this time only the wholesale price of diesel will go up, Világgazdaság reports.

Diesel prices will be 15 forints more gross from Wednesday. According to refueling website Holtankoljak, this change is expected to be reflected in retail prices.

As a result, the following prices are likely to be at petrol stations from Wednesday: the price of 95-octane petrol will be 628 forints (EUR 1.62) per liter, and diesel 638 forints (EUR 1.64).

Although only a week has passed in August, this is the third time that the price of diesel has risen.

At the end of July, the average price was 598 forints (EUR 1.54), meaning that the price rose by 40 forints (EUR 0.103) in a week. The situation is similar for petrol, where the price per liter was well below 600 forints (EUR 1.55) in July.

Ottó Grád, secretary-general of the Hungarian Mineral Oil Association, told Világgazdaság last week that the price increase will definitely slow down, but the current situation was complicated by the simultaneous emergence of two price drivers.

One is the increase in oil prices and the other is the change in the exchange rate between the forint and the dollar.

The Brent oil price has moved out of the $70-80 range where it has been relatively stable for several months, due to the announced production cuts and rising Chinese demand. The resulting market imbalance pushed the price of a barrel of Brent up to $85.

The biggest concern, however, according to Grád, was that the dollar strengthened by almost 10 percent against the forint on top of a six to eight percent rise in oil prices.

Together, the two effects inevitably led to a significant fuel price hike. At the same time, the expert hopes that the forint will not weaken further and that Brent will remain at its $85 level, thus a new equilibrium could emerge at a higher price level.

In the coming weeks, he sees the risk mainly in the forint, where there could be greater instability.

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