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Fuels: distributors' margins again in the sights of a consumer association

2023-07-12T13:58:11.928Z

Highlights: Consumer association CLCV - Consommation Logement et Cadre de Vie - once again points the finger at fuel distributors. It denounces monthly gross margins "explosive" for gasoline and diesel, between January 2022 and June 2023. Despite a recent "flattening", the gross margin remained, in June, at 25.4 cents per liter for SP 95 and 23.4 cent per liter of diesel, according to Ufip data, cited by the association. Système U recommends that the consumer protection association turn instead to "oil distributors"


If the CLCV denounces "explosive" gross margins, professionals point to a net margin of only a few cents.


The tone is set. A few weeks after its last charge, the consumer association CLCV - Consommation Logement et Cadre de Vie - once again points the finger at fuel distributors. While many French people take the road to holidays, it denounces, in a statement, monthly gross margins "explosive" for gasoline and diesel, between January 2022 and June 2023.

To calculate the distributors' earnings, CLCV looked at the difference between the pre-tax price of the fuel and the price at the exit of the refinery and "thus realized a fraction of the total price that goes to the distributor". However, despite a recent "flattening", the gross margin remained, in June, at 25.4 cents per liter for SP 95 and 23.4 cents per liter of diesel, according to Ufip data, cited by the association. Figures that have "not yet reached the normal range of 15 to 18 cents," stingers the association.

For its president, Jean-Yves Mano, supermarkets - which represent about 64% of the French fuel distribution market - "have focused their advertising in recent months on the anti-inflation quarter and have been very discreet on the fuel part". "They must assume that they have restructured their margins for three or four months because today, nothing justifies this gross margin," he abounds. "Large retailers and oil groups keep saying that they are committed to purchasing power. It is time for this to be translated into action. They must stop procrastinating," his organization said in a statement.

" READ ALSO Fuels: prices still close to the lowest level of the year 2023

"It's a premium product on which we don't generate margins"

Statements that sweep aside the groups of large distribution, such as Système U: "We say it and we repeat, fuel is a product of appeal on which we do not generate margins," it says. If the CLCV evokes a gross margin of more than 25 cents per liter of SP 95, Système U rather emphasizes a net margin of "1.5 to 2 cents" per liter. "Between the gross and the net, there are taxes and refunds, says the group, a service station costs for example between 300,000 and 400,000 euros". Système U recommends that the consumer protection association turn instead to "oil distributors", which offer a litre of diesel "fifteen cents more expensive" than in mass distribution.

But, again, the pump attendants ensure that "their margins have not increased" and that they are less than ten cents. "We have suffered increases in the price of energy and we have had to increase our staff," justifies Francis Pousse, national president of the fuel and new energies distributor branch of the Mobilians union. "If there is abuse, it is not with us that it happens," he adds. The representative also specifies that it is necessary to put "the figures in their context" with "negative margins occurred last year" and "the application of government discounts" in gas stations.

Whatever the actors, the CLCV asks them for "operations at immediate cost price", so that "households are not taxed when they go on holiday". A request to which some groups, such as Leclerc, have already responded, with a cost-price operation "every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from June 30 to August 13". Intermarché also launched similar operations on July 7 and 8, August 18, 19, 28 and 29, and September 1 and 2. Système U also proposed this measure on the weekend of July 8 and will renew it "early August".

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-07-12

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