16 JANUARY 2002

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End of quarter fuel price adjustment

Motorists will be anxiously waiting for April Fool’s day when the price of fuel will be adjusted once again in line with international market prices, but there is no indication yet whether the prices will go up or down.

Enemalta chairman, Robert Ghirlando told The Malta Financial and Business Times that the next fuel price adjustment should take place at the end of this quarter.

According to the price liberalisation announced in the November budget the price of fuel will be adjusted utilising a formula that takes into account the international price of fuel.

In November motorists saw the price of unleaded petrol go down by 1c5 reducing the price to 36c per litre. On the other hand the price for leaded petrol rose to 39c per litre - an increase of 1c5 - while diesel was calculated at 21c5 per litre, an increase of 1c4.

Prof. Ghirlando could not give an indication of the fluctuation of the price because the prices are worked out on an average taken over a period of time.

"Unless, one actually takes an average of the international prices over a specific period it is difficult to say in which direction the price has moved, since the prices of these products (fuel) fluctuate daily and do not always correlate with the movement of crude," the Enemalta chairman explained.

A comparative list for the price of unleaded petrol for eurozone countries, published recently by leading French newspaper Le Monde, shows that Athens has the cheapest unleaded fuel rate at 0.69 euro per litre.

Malta, at an average of 0.89 euro per litre, is more expensive than Madrid, Dublin, Vienna and Lisbon but cheaper than Milan, Paris, Brussels and Helsinki.

The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt