Full tank of petrol cost €15 more in Spain at the end of last year than in January 2021

by Lorraine Williamson
petrol prices

The price difference between the beginning of last year and December 2021 is 26 cents per litre of petrol. This information comes from a survey conducted by the Spanish National Association of Service Stations (Aesae), and is based on data from the Geoportal of the Ministry for Ecological Transition. 

Spain number four in Europe 

This sharp increase has seen Spain finish fourth in the EU last year when it comes to petrol prices. Only the Dutch (€1.66), Finns (€1.516) and Danes (€1.48.3) paid more. In Italy and Portugal, the petrol price decreased year on year, by 1% and 4% respectively.  

Price increase was a trend last year, until December 

Petrol price increases were a trend across the European Union in the course of 2021. That changed in December, with countries such as Italy, Portugal, Greece, France and Germany registering declines of up to 34 cents per litre. In Spain, there was only a small drop, from €1.51 to €1.47. In January 2021 the petrol price was the lowest in Spain at €1.21 per litre, and in November it reached a peak at more than €1.51. It was even the highest price since 2012. 

Rising crude oil prices  

The high prices are due, among other things, to the increase in the price of a barrel of Brent crude oil, production cuts in oil-producing countries, tensions in the Middle East and Eastern Europe and the uncertainty created by COVID-19, according to Aesae. In addition, internal competition within a country and taxes also influence the final price.  

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What happened to the diesel price? 

A similar trend occurred with diesel. The price in December 2021 was 22% higher than in January of that year. The highest price was recorded in November, at more than €1.38 per litre, and the lowest in January, when the petrol price barely reached €1.10 per litre. 

Rocket effect and spring effect 

Aesae president Manuel Jiménez Perona said, “It can be concluded that Spain is one of the countries in the European Union where the ‘rocket effect’ – immediate application of the increase in cost – and the ‘spring effect’ – slow application of the decrease in cost – are most evident.  

Full tank significantly more expensive 

This price increase in 2021 means that Spaniards had to pay €15 more for a 55 litre tank in December than in January of the same year. This increase occurred in a month when Spaniards made almost 20 million road trips during the busy Christmas period. This led to additional spending of around €300 million compared to December 2020. 

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