The price of crude oil will jump to more than 100 dollars per barrel on world markets by the end of the year, which will make oil derivatives more expensive in Serbia, and the only way to stop that trend is to reduce excise duty and taxes, said energy expert Miloš Zdravković.
He told Beta that the state of Serbia cannot influence the purchase price of oil, but it can reduce taxes and thus compensate for this increase.
Zdravković reminded that in the past, when the price of oil dropped from around 80 dollars per barrel to 20 dollars, fuel in Serbia became cheaper by only three to four dinars per liter.
“The state must survive, but so must the citizens.” Some measure should be found. If this trend of rising prices of oil and derivatives continues, it will be a terrible blow, not only for the citizens, but also for the economy of Serbia,” said Zdravković, as reported by Beta.
He added that he expects the state to correct, that is, to reduce the high excise taxes and the tax on oil derivatives, which are the highest in Europe, since it cannot influence the purchase price.
He said that the price of oil is rising for several reasons, because the Chinese economy is not in recession and has introduced incentives to strengthen industrial production, the Indian economy is also more active, American strategic reserves are at a historic low and they will improve, and members of the Organization of the oil exporting countries (OPEC) and Russia have reduced production. OPEC, as Zdravković said, plans not to increase oil production in the long term.
“I don’t believe that the price will go above that level because the economy in Europe is in decline, the Volkswagen car factory has reduced production by 27 percent, Mercedes by 31 percent, and BMW by 11 percent, but the Russian economy is not in recession, and it is also stronger in the US and increasing oil consumption,” said Zdravković.
The price of 100 dollars per barrel, as he assessed, is not small, although it reached more than 120 dollars because OPEC producers previously claimed that they were satisfied with 75 dollars per barrel.
The Oil Industry of Serbia (NIS), according to Zdravković, no matter how many derivatives it produces in the country, will determine the price according to the prices of Brent, American WTI oil and the availability of tankers in the Mediterranean, regardless of the fact that the mineral rent in Serbia is almost ten times lower than in Russia.
Therefore, according to him, it does not matter whether NIS imports part of the derivatives or produces them in Serbia, but it does not matter if it is viewed from the angle of mineral rent and taxes. “The only good side of the privatization of NIS is that a new, modern and larger oil refinery was built compared to the existing one, and it is one of the best in this part of Europe,” said Zdravković.
Croatian INA, after it was bought by the Hungarian oil company Mol, as Zdravković said, became a “pump” for fuel because its refinery was shut down.