Commercial diesel stock fell to one day’s supply due to Ukraine crisis: Fuels for Ireland
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there was a point where there was only one day of commercial stock of diesel at Dublin Port, an Oireachtas committee has heard.
Chief Executive of Fuels for Ireland Kevin McPartlan outlined to the Joint Committee on Transport and Communications how fuel supplies at the port fell dramatically, leaving just one day’s supply of diesel in terminals at the port.This compares with a maximum commercial stock of 19 days’ supply in the six months to January.
Mr McPartlan said that even before the conflict in Ukraine began on 24 February, fuel stocks were “less than we would have liked” due to unusual weather events.
He told the committee that Government cuts to excise duty were never going to entirely eradicate or reverse price rises.
Mr McPartlan said that in the 13 days between the start of the conflict and the Government announcing an excise duty reduction, wholesale market prices had increased by 26c per litre on petrol and 45c per litre on diesel.
He says this means that the cuts would only blunt price increases and “were never going to entirely eradicate or reverse them”.
The Irish Road Haulage Association also addressed the committee to say its sector is in a “serious existential crisis”.
It is calling on the Government to tackle the issue of high fuel prices for sectors that have a dependence on diesel fuel.
The IRHA says Brexit, driver shortages, and Covid-19 constraints have built up a “perfect storm” for hauliers.
IRHA President Eugene Drennan says the “ever-increasing costs of running a licensed haulage business are forcing people out of the sector”.
He called for “sufficient fuel rebates” for licensed hauliers, who he says are “essential users of diesel”.
Mr Drennan said there is nothing at EU level stopping the Government from introducing a new diesel rebate scheme.
The industry is also calling for additional fuel-saving measures to be introduced, such as altering traffic light sequences in urban areas, creating a toll-free channel for HGVs at toll booths, and changing the operating hours for depots at ports.