FUEL prices have shot up by a third in the past year, to close to the highest levels ever recorded.
The price surge means Ireland is now one of the most expensive countries in the world for petrol and diesel, according to AA Ireland.
Prices are up an average of 32pc since this time last year, prompting calls for the Government to cut some of the taxes on forecourt fuel.
The average national price of petrol is currently 170.3c, while diesel stands at 160.5c, the AA said.
At the same point last year the average price of fuel stood at 129.9c for petrol and 120.8c for diesel.
The price of petrol has increased by 31pc in the past year, and there has been a 33pc increase in the price of diesel.
At the start of 2022, fuel prices remain close to the highest levels ever recorded, AA Ireland’s Anna Cullen said. “The prices this month are on par with December 2021, with a negligible decrease of about 1pc. They are down by 1.5pc on November figures, when AA Ireland reported record high fuel prices.” she said.
Ireland is the 17th most expensive country in the world for fuel, and we rank 12th in Europe.
The most expensive countries include Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Israel, Norway, Finland, Denmark, the UK, Greece, Iceland and Sweden.
Ms Cullen said two-thirds of the price paid at the pumps is tax, and this includes Vat and carbon tax.
“And, keep in mind it can take two weeks for any reductions to reach the pumps,” she said.
Prices are surging due to world crude oil prices hitting seven-year highs last week, bolstered by tight worldwide supply and resurgent global demand.
AA Ireland said that in early 2020, members of OPEC Plus, which is a large group of oil exporting nations, agreed to cut output by about 10 million barrels a day due to the lack of demand.
However, demand for oil has risen significantly and will continue to rise this year, the motoring organisation said.
Ms Cullen said that oil producers are not keeping up with this demand, causing prices to stay high.
The cost of a barrel of Brent Crude Oil is now at $85 (€75).
On Friday, the cost rose to $88 – the highest seen since 2014.
“Each month since the pandemic hit, OPEC Plus members have met to set output quotas.
“In July 2021, the group set out plans to raise the overall output by 400,000 barrels a day each month – but they have been missing the targets,” Ms Cullen said.
Despite missing the targets, they met again last week and agreed to stick with its planned increase for February, she said.
In its monthly report, OPEC said this year’s demand rise will take oil use above pre-pandemic levels.
“Unless supply meets demand, fuel prices will remain high in Ireland and across the world. We don’t see fuel prices coming down any time soon which is really concerning for consumers.”
Ms Cullen called on the Government to review the fuel taxation system.
She said it was within the remit of the Government to ease the pressure on prices that consumers pay.
Source: Irish Independent. Published 25/1/2022 by Charlie Weston