Why diesel is more expensive than in 2008, while the barrel is cheaper

A paradox. Why do we currently pay more for diesel at the pump than in 2008, when at the time, a barrel was worth more than today? This is the question that agitates social networks. Backed by figures, some Internet users compare the two situations: “Diesel at two euros with a barrel of oil at 118 dollars, some wonder, [alors que] the highest level ever reached for a barrel of crude was 146 dollars in 2008. The price at the pump was then 1.20 euro. »

Several factors influence the price at the pump, in addition to the price per barrel. – Facebook screenshot

In another version, Internet users recall that in 2008, the price at the pump was 1.37 euros, while a barrel sold for 144.65 dollars. In 2022, motorists paid an average of 2 euros per liter, while the barrel was displayed at 129.17 dollars. “As long as there are geese, there will be foie gras!” », end the message.

The price per barrel alone does not determine the price at the pump.
The price per barrel alone does not determine the price at the pump. – Facebook screenshot


Although paradoxical, this situation can be explained by several trends: the first element is the exchange rate, which is now advantageous to the euro, reminds 20 minutes Sophie Méritet, lecturer at Paris-Dauphine University: “We must remember that oil is paid for in dollars. The exchange rate between the dollar and the euro between 2008 and today is no longer the same. Today, we buy the dollar more expensive. »

If we go back to July 2008, the date cited by Internet users, the euro was stronger than it is today against the dollar: it took 0.63 euro cents for one dollar, against 0.95 cents in May 2022, according to INSEE.

Other tracks are found by breaking down the price of a liter of diesel: a week ago, it cost 2.07 euros per liter at the pump, according to the French Union of Petroleum Industries. About 49% of this price (1.023 euro) was made up of its market price, about 46% of taxes (a total of 0.954 euro), the rest representing the cost of distribution.

In July 2008, taxation is also between 46 and 47% of the final price, according to data from the Ministry of Ecological Transition. However, in absolute value, it represents a lower bill for motorists: 0.67 euro cents on average. This change is partly due to the change in the VAT rate, which is currently at 20%, compared to 19.6% in 2008. This VAT applies to the raw material, but also to another tax, the TICPE , which has been modified between 2008 and present.

Sophie Méritet also points to the weight of inflation: “Today we have inflation that is much higher than in 2008. You will have overhead costs, labor that is more expensive. “A set of factors that weigh on the price at the pump and on the wallet of motorists.

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