When it comes to fuel, the world has been upside down in recent months. While the Swiss went to Germany to shop, the Germans came to us to fill up. This should end in June because, unlike Switzerland, our neighbors are reducing taxes on petrol and diesel.
After fuel prices in Switzerland rose by more than 50 percent at times as a result of the Ukraine war, middle-class representatives of the people called for a temporary reduction or suspension of mineral oil tax with numerous initiatives. In doing so, they not only wanted to support private households, but also the Swiss economy (you can find tips for saving fuel here). But the Federal Council decided against such measures in mid-May.
neighboring countries act
The situation with our neighbors is different. Italy has already reduced fuel prices. The result: Ticino residents and tourists passing through are now refueling south of the border. As of June 1, Germany will follow and will also temporarily reduce fuel taxes for three months. It is expected that a liter of petrol will be around 35 cents cheaper and diesel around 17 cents cheaper as a result.
This would mean that prices in Germany would fall back below the limit of two euros per liter in June and the equivalent of two francs per liter. Accordingly, German motorists no longer have any reason to fill up in Switzerland. And for the Swiss, it suddenly becomes attractive to get fuel in Germany.
Prices react with a delay
But be careful: Anyone who crosses the border on June 1st could be disappointed. It is likely that the price reduction will not be felt at all gas stations from day one. Because the energy tax is not due when you fill up, but in the refineries and tank farms. With which the fuel that is in the pump on June 1st was still bought according to the old, more expensive tax rate. It is questionable whether the gas stations will immediately pass the tax cut on to customers.
Fuel could be scarce
This can also mean that the supply of fuel at the gas stations at the turn of the month becomes scarce, writes the “Autobild”. Experts expect that gas station operators will reduce their stocks sharply in order to have to resell as little fuel as possible at the higher tax rate. This could mean a fuel shortage on June 1st. Especially since the lower prices are likely to lead to a rush while the warehouses are almost empty and the cheaper fuel is only on its way. The fact that the long Pentecost weekend is also approaching should further increase fuel demand.
It is doubtful whether Germany’s tax cut will induce a rethink in the Bundesrat – even if a group of experts from all departments is keeping an eye on the price situation. At most, the special session of the National Council and the Council of States in June can persuade the state government to rethink. Then the advances to cushion the expected inflation will be dealt with.