Fuel prices are set to drop across France on Monday (March 14), with diesel falling by as much as 35 euro cents per litre in some areas, the CEO of E. Leclerc, the country’s second biggest purchaser of fuel, has said.
Michel-Edouard Leclerc said that unleaded prices would also drop by around eight to 10 cents per litre.
His comments come after a week in which fuel prices have swung radically. They have been affected by the war in Ukraine as well as other factors involving global supply chains.
At the beginning of the week, Mr Leclerc was predicting huge surges in prices. Then, on Wednesday, he said that fuel prices could already fall by around 14 to 15 euro cents per litre by today (March 11).
In his latest interview this morning he predicted prices to fall further by next week.
He put this down to crude oil prices going down, although admitted that he could not keep on top of the constantly changing market.
“It's a crazy market. I don't understand it,” he told BFMTV.
“We are the second largest buyer of fuel in France. We buy it for Leclerc centres, for Système U stores, for the RATP, for transport companies.
“We have good market observation capacities
“[And yet], I announced a surge [in prices] at the beginning of the week and today the market is turning around", he said.
He said the price drop would be general and not only at stations stocking fuel bought by his company.
Fuel prices in France have increased significantly in recent weeks and are now over €2 per litre in many service stations around the country.
“In some regions, particularly in the east, it has risen to €2.25 or €2.27,” Mr Leclerc said.
It is here that he is predicting diesel prices to drop by 35 euro cents a litre.
“In Alsace, the prices are more expensive because the distributors buy on barges that go down the Rhine. Near a refinery in Donges, it's cheaper, almost 10 euro cents cheaper,” he said.
In Niort (Nouvelle-Aquitaine) this morning, fuel prices were around €2.08 per litre, while in Arles (Bouches-du-Rhône), they were €2.54.
Mr Leclerc advised consumers to check fuel price comparison sites online before buying, adding that rates can change hourly at the moment. Stations that have more stock are likely to be cheaper.
Casino to offer fuel at €1 a litre (for big spenders)
Retail group Casino is offering drivers who refuel at their stations a deal that is in place today and tomorrow (March 11 and 12).
They will get back in the form of a voucher the difference between the price at the pump and €1 on every litre of fuel they purchase.
For example, if they fill up their vehicle with 50 litres and the price at the pump is €2 per litre, they will get a voucher for €50.
This voucher can be used in Casino supermarkets, but only when spending over €100.
Supermarket chain Intermarché offered discounts on fuel last weekend, and Mr Leclerc has said that his chain could introduce a similar voucher scheme.
How to keep your car safe from fuel syphoning thieves
Cases of petrol thefts, on large tankers but also on individuals’ vehicles, are on the up.
In Yvelines, Le Parisien highlighted at least six reports of thieves syphoning from fuel tanks in recent days.
Police said that the perpetrators had been found, and appeared to be stealing the fuel for their own personal use, such as to “fill their Clio or their scooter”.
French police have offered tips on how motorists can keep their vehicles safe from this particular theft, as highlighted by car magazine Auto Plus.
They say drivers should try to park their vehicle in a secure carriage or car park. If that is not possible, they should try to park the car with the fuel hole close to a wall.
It is also best to park somewhere bright if possible, or under a motion-sensor light.
It is also recommended not to fill your car up fully on long weekends or holidays, as this is usually when thieves are most active.
The police have also said that tools such as anti-syphon valves are available and can be fitted to most models of cars.