• Switzerland's news in English

Swiss petrol and fuel prices hit four-year lows

Malcolm Curtis · 5 Dec 2014, 11:49

Published: 05 Dec 2014 11:49 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The good news for Swiss motorists — or bad news for the environment, depending on your point of view — comes as global energy prices keep falling.

At the beginning of the week, unleaded 95 petrol was selling for around 1.62 francs ($1.67) a litre, while diesel was selling for 1.69 francs a litre.

That marks a fall of about 15 cents a litre for both types of fuel since the beginning of the summer.

Motorists in Switzerland haven’t enjoyed prices this low since 2010.

The price of crude oil has fallen because of worldwide oversupply, Martin Stucky, spokesman for the Swiss Petroleum Association (Erdöl-Vereinigung) told the SDA news agency.

The rise in the production of shale oil in the US has contributed to the supply while OPEC, the organization of petroleum exporting countries, decided this week to maintain production levels in a bid to prevent energy prices from rising.

That move by the 12-national cartel, including oil-rich Saudi Arabia and Iran, sent energy prices plummeting.

The Economist magazine this week said the sluggish global economy was a factor in keeping prices down by reducing demand.

But it added that OPEC has a vested interest in moderating prices because US shale oil, which is reducing American demand for imported oil, is expensive to produce and becomes uneconomic if oil prices fall.

Meanwhile, Swiss residents who depend on heating fuel are getting an even bigger break at the cash register.

While taxes and import costs account for around 50 percent of fuel at the pumps, these represent only 25 percent of heating fuel costs, the Swiss Petroleum Association says.

On Thursday, residents could fill their home fuel tanks for 86.10 francs per 100 litres, according to figures from Swissoil Zurich.

In November the cost from the same source was 93 francs and 102.61 francs in the month of June 2014.

Although fuel prices have dropped, they remain high compared to the US.

Story continues below…

Petrol prices, for example, in the US averaged around 80 cents American a litre, less than half the Swiss rate, according to the globalpetrolprices.com website.

The site cites a price of $1.73 for Switzerland, which remains lower than France ($1.75), Germany ($1.77), Sweden ($1.80) and Denmark ($1.99) but above Austria ($1.60) and Spain ($1.59).

In the UK the quoted cost for a litre of petrol is $1.91 a litre but the highest prices in the world are paid in Norway ($2.14), followed by Italy ($2.13) and the Netherlands ($2.11).

Robin Wigglesworth, of Fast FT, suggests Switzerland is one of the countries that faces deflation if petroleum prices continue to drop:

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Police arrest brother of ‘murdered’ Swiss teacher
The victim worked in a school in Stabio, near the town of Mendrisio. Photo: Oliver Graf

The primary school teacher was found dead in Ticino earlier this week.

Inside Switzerland’s largest nuclear bunker – 40 years on
Designed to house 20,000 people, the bunker was built in and over two motorway tunnels. Photo: Unterirdisch Ueberleben

The Local takes a tour of the Sonnenberg bunker in Lucerne, opened 40 years ago at the height of the Cold War.

Ten Swiss ski resorts named most expensive in Europe
File photo: Renato Bagattini/Swiss Tourism

Skiers in Switzerland pay the highest prices for their ski passes of anywhere in Europe, according to research.

Eco group fights Bern over wind farm plans
There are currently more than 30 wind farms in Switzerland. Photo: Alpiq

Wind turbines are “gigantic and destructive” machines, says Paysage Libre Suisse.

Vegan wins battle to be accepted by Swiss army
Antoni Da Campo will now carry out his military service. Photo: Antoni Da Campo

A Swiss man who was told he would not be accepted for military service because of his strict veganism has finally succeeded in making the army change its mind.

Geneva terror suspects to receive compensation
File photo: Emran Kassim

The Swiss public prosecutor has dropped the case against them.

Ticino firefighters rescue cow from swimming pool
File photo: The Local

The cow was at risk of drowning after falling into the private pool.

Uefa Champions League
Basel 'ready for battle' in Champions League clash
Basel training in Paris. Photo: Franck Fife/AFP

Swiss champions Basel fancy their chances of springing a surprise when they face Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday.

Burst pipe causes major flood in Lausanne
The water flooded Place de la Riponne in Lausanne. File photo: Swiss Tourism/Christof Schuerpf

Water rushed down the streets after a pipe burst in the city centre.

Outcry after ‘neo-Nazi’ music festival held on Swiss soil
The village of Unterwasser was the tranquil location for the festival. Photo: Swiss Tourism

Should police have intervened?

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
Photo: file
Some deodorants could cause breast cancer: Swiss study
Photo: Royal Savoy
In pictures: Inside the latest Swiss luxury hotel
Photo: AFP
Geneva airport bomb hoaxer faces 90,000-franc bill
Photo: Schaffhausen police
Mother leaves toddler son alone in car to go clubbing
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss populist attacked by knife-wielding pensioner
Photo: File
Bern argues over passports for 3rd generation foreigners
Photo: Broad Bean Media
Muslim pupils must shake hands – ‘no ifs and buts’
jobs available