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Retail fuels in brief: how are low Rhine water levels impacting retail markets?

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12 August 2022

Retail fuels in brief: how are low Rhine water levels impacting retail markets?

Report summary

The extreme increase in distribution costs has yet to push retail pump prices higher in Germany as prices remain at record levels across Europe. In Germany, gross fuel retail margins spiked following the introduction of a 14-cent and 30-cent temporary discount to excise duty in April on diesel and gasoline, respectively. Fuel retailers have been slow to pass these savings on to consumers and margins remained at around €0.20 in July. Given these unique set of circumstances, combined with a fall in wholesale prices in recent weeks, diesel and gasoline retail prices have fallen since the start of July through to mid-August. Nevertheless, there are some regional discrepancies, with retail prices for diesel falling to a lesser degree in the South compared to other regions as Rhine barge supply has become restricted. The temporary tax cuts mean consumer prices can still come down further despite a continued rise in freight costs.

Table of contents

  • A key transport corridor for fuel to inland European markets
  • Extremely low seasonal water levels drive up freight rates
  • Retail prices in Germany and Switzerland diverge
  • Summary

Tables and charts

This report includes 15 images and tables including:

  • Upper Rhine freight rates
  • Rot-Basel freight rates vs. water levels at Kaub
  • Daily Kaub water level and German average diesel price
  • Weighted average European retail gasoline prices
  • Weighted average European retail diesel prices
  • Germany average retail gasoline prices
  • Germany average retail diesel prices
  • Switzerland average retail gasoline prices
  • Switzerland average retail diesel prices
  • Weighted average European gasoline gross retail margins
  • Weighted average European diesel gross retail margins
  • Germany gasoline gross retail margins
  • Germany diesel gross retail margins
  • Switzerland gasoline gross retail margins
  • Switzerland diesel gross retail margins

What's included

This report contains:

  • Document

    Retail fuels in brief: how are low Rhine water levels impacting retail markets?

    PDF 1.05 MB