Fuel: France relies on imports to counteract shortages
Barthélémy Philippe, edited by Romain Rouillard
7:31 am, October 13, 2022
While a third of the country’s petrol stations are experiencing supply problems due to the refinery strike, the government is trying to activate various levers to compensate for this crisis. France in particular has significantly increased its imports of refined fuel.
There are several levers to overcome the fuel shortage, which is affecting almost a third of the country’s gas stations. In particular, the government drew on its strategic stock, the total volume of which corresponds to 90 days’ consumption. The executive also began requisitioning striking staff at Esso-ExxonMobil group’s refineries on Wednesday.
Two provisions accompanied by a significant increase in the volume of French imports of refined fuel. In normal operation, the activity of French refineries is sufficient to ensure national fuel consumption. It is even common for France to export part of its production. Half of diesel consumption comes from imports.
An increase in exports means rising prices
However, all of those standards have been thrown into disarray by the blockades of six of the country’s seven refineries. : “Currently, more than 50% of consumption in France comes from imports,” explains economist Philippe Crevel. “Most of the fuel is transported by ship from Antwerp, Rotterdam or Amsterdam to Le Havre or Dunkirk before it is sent through the usual distribution channels. Of course, French dealers pay more for these additional imports,” he admits.
However, this increase in imports is unlikely to excite motorists. In the past few days, the price per liter at the pump has increased by 11 to 14 cents.
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