A senior official of the Serbian Association of Oil Companies (UNKS) warned that the government has been limiting fuel prices for too long and risks upsets on the market.
“The administrative regulating of oil derivative prices is sustainable in the short term for a month or tow. Now that it has been more than four months since the measure was introduced upsets in market supply of fuels could happen,” UNKS Secretary General Tomislav Micovic said.
The Serbian government has been regulating fuel prices weekly under a decree which expires on June 30. The decree was introduced on February 11 for a 30 day period which was extended several times. At the time it was introduced, Eurodiesel cost 179 Dinars a liter (the price was frozen and is still at the same level) and Europremium BMB 95 cost 171 Dinars. The prices of those fuels have been raised by 33 and 30 Dinars respectively.
Micovic said he does not know if the government will extend the decree. “All the countries in the region, except Romania, introduced measures to stop fuel prices from rising. The UNKS gave the Serbian government expert and technical support on the measures but the prices have been lower than the cost of oil imports for some time,” he said. According to him, fuel prices in Romania did not skyrocket because competition keeps them under control. Diesel costs 1.87 Euro in Romania compared to 1.80 in Serbia.
Micovic warned that the decisions on limiting fuel prices should not cross what he called the red line that would jeopardize market supply.