UK now has most expensive diesel in the world, but why?
Despite many countries buying its oil from the same places, The Fuelcard People has pointed out that U...
Despite many countries buying its oil from the same places, The Fuelcard People has pointed out that UK companies now pay more for diesel than they would anywhere else in the world. This will come as a blow to many drivers throughout the UK, as diesel cars have been selling at a higher rate than their petrol counterparts for the last couple of years.
Steve Clarke, group marketing manager, cited the latest research by globalpetrolprices.com, published last week. He said: “It made headlines that the UK is back into the world ‘Top Ten’ for petrol prices, but nobody seems to have noticed the diesel chart. Of more than 170 countries surveyed, we have the world’s most expensive diesel.”
The research, cited regularly by the world’s broadcast, print and online media, includes an explanation for internationally differing prices. Steve Clarke said: “There is no mystery to the UK’s embarrassing position. Each nation buys oil on the same global markets, but then imposes its own taxes. The price on our forecourts includes 59 percent for diesel and 61 percent for petrol. Having to pay the highest fuel duty in Europe is hitting the general public hard, crippling businesses and hindering the economic recovery.”
Clarke put the high rates of duty into context and offered a warning to UK businesses. He said: “Even firms in notoriously expensive places like Switzerland, Luxembourg and Monaco pay less for petrol. Everyone in the world pays less than our companies have to pay for diesel. With fuel being a major cost for any business using the roads, we are trying to compete internationally on a very uneven playing field. With a deficit to clear and no room for manoeuvre, nobody should expect the government to be reducing fuel duty in the foreseeable future.”
Steve Clarke’s long experience in the sector makes him perfectly positioned to comment. The Fuelcard People reduces refuelling costs for many thousands of customers every day, typically by up to 4p per litre for both diesel and petrol.
EU and US agree end to Airbus-Boeing supply chain tariffs
The EU and US have agreed to resolve a 17-year dispute over aircraft subsidies, suspending tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of goods that have plagued procurement leaders on both sides of the Atlantic.
Under an agreement reached by European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Tuesday, the tariffs will be halted for a period of at least five years.
It will bring an end to punitive and disruptive levies on supply chains that have little to do with the argument, which became embroiled in the trade battle. Businesses on both sides of the dispute have been hit with more than $3.3bn in duties since they were first imposed by the US in October 2019, according the EC.
The US imposed charges on goods upto $7.5bn in response to a World Trade Organisation ruling that judged the EU’s support of Airbus, its biggest aircraft manufacturer, unlawful. A year later in November 2020, the EU hit back. The WTO found the US had violated trade rules in its favourable treatment of Boeing, and was hit with EU duties worth $4bn.
In all the tariffs affected $11.5bn worth of goods, including French cheese, Scotch whisky, aircraft and machinery in Europe, and sugarcane products, handbags and tobacco in America. Procurement leaders on both sides of the fence were forced to wrestle with tariffs of 15% on aircraft and components, and 25% on non-aircraft related products.
Boeing-Airbus dispute by the numbers
- The dispute began in 2004
- Tariffs suspended for 5 years
- $11.5bn worth of goods affected by tariffs
- $3.3bn in duties paid by businesses to date
- 15% levy on aircraft and 25% on non-aircraft goods suspended
Both sides welcome end to tariffs
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen branded the truce a “major step” in ending what is the longest running dispute in WTO history. It began in 2004.
“I am happy to see that after intensive work between the European Commission and the US administration, our transatlantic partnership is on its way to reaching cruising speed. This shows the new spirit of cooperation between the EU and the US and that we can solve the other issues to our mutual benefit,” she added.
Both aircraft manufacturers have welcomed the news. Airbus said in a statement that it will hopefully bring to an end the “lose-lose tariffs” that are affecting industries already facing “many challenges”. Boeing added that it will “fully support the U.S. Government’s efforts to ensure that the principles in this understanding are respected”.
The US aerospace firm added: "The understanding reached today commits the EU to addressing launch aid, and leaves in place the necessary rules to ensure that the EU and United States live up to that commitment, without requiring further WTO action."
This week’s decision expands upon a short-term tariff truce announced in March this year. The EC says it will work closely with the US to try and further resolve the dispute, establishing a Working Group on Large Civil Aircraft led by each side’s trade minister.
Airbus last month signalled to suppliers that post-pandemic recovery was on the horizon, telling them to scale up to meet a return to pre-COVID manufacturing levels. “The aviation sector is beginning to recover from the COVID-19 crisis,” said Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury, adding that suppliers should prepare for a period of intensive production “when market conditions call for it.”