Croatia's fuel prices continue to freeze, small distributors announce pump closures

The head of the association of small fuel distributors Armando Miljavac said the association is disappointed with the government's decision to keep the cap on fuel prices, saying that small retailers will start closing filling stations, adding that the state should let them buy fuel cheaper from state stockpiles.

“We are disappointed with how the state is acting regarding fuel prices. It is bad for the state and for customers, and ultimately for us distributors, Miljavac told the Croatian state news agency Hina, adding that soon there will be no fuel at their stations, and that some distributors are already feeling the impact of shortages.

“We will have to start closing filling stations because the purchase price cannot be higher than the output price,” said Miljavac, noting, however, that he will seek clarification from the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development for the government’s latest decision.

He said that small retailers have been losing one kuna per litre of fuel sold so far and now that loss will be slightly over 0.60 kuna. He noted the high cost of transporting fuel to their stations, the cost of personnel and the depreciation of facilities.

“A tanker of diesel costs us around 420,000 kuna, nearly 50% more than a year ago. These costs are unsustainable, we have to have the money to pay for it, and we don’t have it,” Miljavac said, adding that this branch is currently the most unprofitable branch in Croatia.

“If they want to save us, the state should sell us fuel from its stockpiles and at lower prices. Today’s decision will lead to a lot of problems and many of us will not have fuel,” Miljavac said.

The Croatian government extended the freeze on the prices of basic fuels at filling stations off the motorways for another 14 days.