Gasoline prices in Azerbaijan on the rise
"Gasoline price increases have nothing to do with changes in world oil prices"
Prices for AI-95 and AI-98 gasoline will rise in Azerbaijan since 2 June. The price of AI-95 gasoline, which has been imported to the country since 2014, has increased from 1.25 AZN to 1.40 AZN, and the price of AI-98 gasoline has increased from 1.40 AZN to 1.55 AZN.
The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) stated that the price of AI-95 and AI-98 gasoline is determined according to the worldwide market, as it is imported into the country and gasoline prices in Azerbaijan are regulated the same way as they are in global markets.
Ibrahim Ahmadov from SOCAR said that as oil prices climbed back to pre-pandemic levels, gasoline companies are raising their prices. If, in the future, prices of oil and oil products fall again this would be reflected in Azerbaijani gasoline prices.
However, economist Natig Jafarli thinks that the increase in the gasoline prices in Azerbaijan has nothing to do with changes in global market prices but is based on the “monopoly” of SOCAR in the country.
“Only SOCAR-affiliated companies bring premium gasoline to the country, so they can dictate the price as they want. There is no price competition in the country.
For example, in Georgia, premium gasoline is offered at different prices at different filling stations. It is offered at different prices because it is not regulated by the state. In some places it is 0.05-0.10 GEL cheaper, and in others it can be higher. In our case, this process is controlled from one center which leads to a monopoly."
The economist thinks that it is incorrect to link the price increase with rising oil prices on the global market and he adds that although the economy in the country won‘t be affected from the price increase, the middle class, the lower middle class and especially new car owners will suffer as they have to use EU-5 fuel.
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