Geoffrey Branger, editing by Alexandre Dalifard / Photo credit: Marie Magnin / Hans Lucas / Hans Lucas via AFP 19:12 p.m., September 17, 2023

This Sunday morning, the Prime Minister announced in "Le Parisien" that distributors will be able to sell gasoline "at a loss" for a few months. A decision that, in its logic, could lead to lower prices per liter at the pump. But concretely, can this bill change anything for motorists?

Elisabeth Borne goes to the rescue of motorists. The Prime Minister details in Le Parisien this Sunday morning the possibilities for fuel to be cheaper, including asking distributors to sell fuel at cost or even at a loss. Which, in its logic, could lead to decreases in the price of a liter at the pump. But concretely, what will this change?

The state must put its hand in its pocket

This should not change much. The price of a barrel of Brent is rising, so in the coming days, pump prices will follow this trend. In this context, this does not represent a big change for motorists according to Fabrice Godefroy, mobility and environment expert for the association 40 million motorists. "A distributor that is not a producer, such as Total, ultimately has very little margin on this. We are talking about one or two cents, depending on the fuel, of margin. So it's a drop that is still quite small in the end. So, it's not going to be enough for motorists," he told Europe 1.

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And then selling at a loss, it means that you lose money. This solution is therefore not feasible over time for small distributors. For professionals in the sector, it would be above all necessary for the State to put its hand in the pocket rather than to make proposals totally absurd according to them. "It is extremely surprising this announcement to ask distributors to sell at a loss because we know very well that it is prohibited in the law. Especially since it is the State that has the most leeway on fuel because we have a VAT at 20% on a fixed TICPE and then there is an increase in fuel. So I think there is still better to do and that the State participates in tandem with the distributors, "insists Fabrice Godefroy.

In the coming weeks, prices at the pump could well return to their level of last year, but this time, without the rebates of the State and therefore well above 2.30 euros per liter.