picture of gas pumps

The price for regular diesel fuel and 95 gasoline will be capped at 480 Ft. (US $1.50) per liter starting on Nov. 15, announced Gergely Gulyás at a government information session yesterday. The price cap will be in place for three months.

Fuel prices have risen sharply over the past year, and the head of the Prime Minister’s Office noted that Hungary’s neighbor Croatia has also set a maximum price for fuel, equivalent to 550 forints per liter. In this context, Gulyás claimed that Hungary’s gas prices are among the sixth or seventh cheapest in the European Union.

But the minister did not mention that Hungary’s average price for diesel, which accounts for two-thirds of fuel-related revenue, is already higher than the 27 EU member state average.

Gergely Gulyás justified the price cap by saying that the price of petrol also affects other products, and by claiming that the new government measure will solve 98% of society’s problems.

The new measures only apply to regular 95 and diesel gas, but high-quality premium fuel makes up around 10% of diesel purchases, and about 20% of gas sold in Hungary. Népszava reports that premium fuel is around 40-50 forints per liter more expensive than the regular version, although the newspaper has also documented premium prices at 600 forints per liter.

Gulyás also revealed that the new measure will not affect the fuel prices apart from those at the pump, such as wholesale contract purchases.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán revealed for the first time at the end of October that, following the Croatian example, the government was considering putting a cap on fuel prices.

[Népszava]

By Steven N.

Steven is the editor-in-chief of Hungarian Politics. He has been following the political scene in Hungary and the Central European region more or less since 1994.