Gas price nears 5 liras due to third hike in a month

Gas price nears 5 liras due to third hike in a month

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Gas price nears 5 liras due to third hike in a month

A customer gets ready to pay for gas at an Istanbul gas station. One liter of 95 octane gas now costs between 4.69-4.72 Turkish Liras in Istanbul after the price hikes. DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIK

Gas prices in Turkey were hiked yesterday for the third time in just one month, resulting in about an 8.5 percent price jump for the year to date, as oil prices rise due to changes in lira to dollar exchange rates, political uncertainties and instabilities in the Middle East.

TÜPRAŞ, which controls all of the country’s refinery capacity, increased the price of one liter of gas by 8 to 10 kuruş, raising the price to between 4.69 and 4.72 Turkish Liras for 95 octane gas in Istanbul, according to the Anatolia news agency. Average gas prices were between 4.69 and 4.72 liras per liter in Turkey’s three largest cities, Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir, before the hike. According to prices compiled from oil distributors prices now range between 4.79 and 4.82, the agency said.

The gas price was at 4.33 liras per liter on December 23, 2011. The first rise of the year was a 7-kuruş hike on February 21. On March 10 the price was raised by about another 10 kuruş, and then March 20 gas prices again rose between 8 and 10 kuruş. The cost of filling a gas tank went up about 20 liras to 258 liras, from 238 liras in the first days of this year, the daily Milliyet said yesterday. Diesel gas prices also saw a 3.08 percent rise on March 15, to more than 4 liras per liter.

“Turkey imposes the highest tax on gasoline, with a 1.04 euro per-liter tax,” the Petroleum Industry Foundation of Turkey said in a March 2 statement. The country follows England and Sweden for the amount of tax imposed on diesel fuel.
Brent crude oil prices have risen more than 17 percent year to date, according to The price was at about $111 per barrel on January 3, and traded at about $124 yesterday.

Electricity prices next

Meanwhile, the price hikes are expected to affect natural gas prices and consequently electricity prices as well, according to an electricity sector professional.

Turkey generates 51 percent of its electricity from gas, and gas prices change based on Brent crude oil, Önder Karaduman, the head of the Electricity Producers Association, said yesterday, according to the Anatolia news agency. Noting that political developments in Syria, Iran and other countries in the Middle East could tilt oil prices upward at any time, he said, “After all the rise in oil prices will inevitably be reflected in natural gas prices, and this will cause electricity prices to rise.”

“It is out of the question for oil prices to go down. They will always go up,” Volkan Ediger, a professor specializing in energy issues at Kadir Has University told the Daily News yesterday, adding that the annual average price of oil has been at $100 per barrel. “International and national oil prices are not parallel, they do not match up with each other 100 percent,” he said, noting that prices should reflect supply and demand, not interventionist policies.