Gasoline prices in Germany have risen by almost a quarter within a year.

This emerges from figures that the Federal Statistical Office published on Wednesday.

The reasons are varied: In addition to interventions by the German state for climate protection, the development of the corona crisis and the behavior of the oil cartel Opec and its allies also play a role.

Christian Siedenbiedel

Editor in business.

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    Currently, according to ADAC, a liter of Super pays a nationwide average of 1.480 euros, a liter of diesel costs an average of 1.329 euros. That is considerably more than last year, although not as much as in the expensive tank autumn 2018, when the limit of 1.50 euros for a liter of super was significantly exceeded in many regions. The price increase at the turn of the year, but also afterwards, was clearly noticed among motorists.  

    But now it is official: Compared to the previous year, the prices for premium gasoline rose by 24.8 percent in April according to the surveys of the Federal Statistical Office, the prices for diesel fuel by 19.5 percent and the prices for LPG by 14.2 percent.

    Overall, fuels have risen above average at the filling station, by an average of 23.3 percent in April 2021 compared to April 2020. For comparison: the overall rate of change in the consumer price index was 2 percent in the same period.

    The fee for climate protection should continue to rise

    What's behind it? Compared to the last months of 2020, the increase in VAT, which was reduced in Germany from July to December 2020, is noticeable. However, compared to April 2020, this does not matter. Compared to April 2020, the higher crude oil price and the introduction of a CO2 price for fuels in Germany were the main reasons for the price increase. As part of the CO2 pricing, climate-damaging fossil fuels have been charged a price of 25 euros per tonne of CO2 since January 1, 2021. This is a step for climate protection, which is to be followed by others in the next few years. According to ADAC, this step was 7 cents per liter for gasoline and 8 cents for diesel.

    The development of the price of crude oil also plays a central role in the rise in gasoline prices. "The price shifts can be explained in particular by the rapid drop in the price of oil in spring 2020 - from around almost 70 dollars at the beginning of 2020, to prices even below 20 dollars per barrel in April 2020 up to around 70 dollars again in spring 2021", writes the ADAC. A year ago when the corona crisis began, crude oil was extremely cheap due to the low demand in lockdown. As a reaction to this, the oil cartel Opec and its allies such as Russia (Opec plus) cut oil production and only then slowly ramped it up again.

    In the first few months of this year, this artificial shortage of production supported the return of the oil price to around 70 dollars per barrel (159 liter barrel) for the North Sea variety Brent - as did the prospect of a possible end to the pandemic. Car traffic is already a bit stronger than in the first lockdown, and industry is using more oil again. In addition, there has been speculation on the oil market for a long time on higher consumption after the crisis.