[Update October 18 at 15:40 - Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne has now stated that less than 25% of French petrol stations are experiencing shortages of at least one product now.]
The fuel shortages affecting French petrol stations have lessened slightly.
By the end of yesterday (October 17), 28.1% of French petrol stations were experiencing shortages of at least one product according to the energy transition ministry, compared to 30.1% on Sunday (October 16).
In Hauts-de-France, which had initially been the worst affected region, 22.4% of petrol stations are seeing supply shortages – compared to 23.4% on Sunday – in Ile-de-France it is 40.9%, down from 41.6%, in Centre-Val de Loire it is 37%, down from 42.8%.
However, in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté the situation has got worse, with 40.5% of stations experiencing stock issues compared to 39.4% on Sunday.
The map below reflects how the situation varies in different French regions. The figures attached to each region show the proportion of petrol stations experiencing shortages.
For more on checking the availability of fuel at your local petrol stations, see our article below:
President Emmanuel Macron met with ministers yesterday evening to discuss the situation and later promised to “do the utmost” to make sure that the situation is resolved.
The government began a réquisition – requiring some employees to return to work to ensure a minimum service is provided – at the Feyzin depot in Rhône yesterday, which should help to free up supply in Hauts-de-France, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Bourgogne-Franche-Comté.
“We are doing it for French people, we are not doing it to go against the strikers, [réquisitions] are absolutely necessary so that people can continue to go to work and cover basic needs,” Energy Transition Minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher said.
Prices rise again
Average fuel prices have risen sharply as a result of the shortages with diesel increasing by 12 cents over the last week, returning to its June level.
Diesel prices are today averaging €1.908 per litre, SP95-E10 is at €1.665 and SP98 is €1.767 according to tracking website Carbu.com.
Fuel prices began rising with the beginning of the refinery strikes at the end of September, after a weeks-long fall.
This comes as Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne announced yesterday that the government’s 30-cent-per-litre fuel discount would be maintained until mid-November, instead of being reduced to 10 cents per litre on November 1.
TotalEnergies’ 20-cent-per-litre reduction will also be extended for the same period. These measures are designed to respond to the rise in prices that has been precipitated by the shortages.
Ms Pannier-Runacher called on suppliers not to profit from the shortages last week, and said that such price rises were “in no way” justified, even if they are partly linked to crude oil costs.
Having now lasted for nearly three weeks, the fuel shortages are now threatening to affect journeys around France for Toussaint breaks, and some people have already cancelled reservations.
“Cancellations have risen over 60% in the hotel sector,” Roland Héguy, president of the Union des métiers et des industries de l’hôtellerie (Umih) told France Bleu Vaucluse.
“When there is no more mobility, there is no more activity; now this must stop, you cannot block the whole of France.
“Electricity and gas [prices] have multiplied by four, five, 10, it’s not possible. Tourism is very fragile, the future is very uncertain.”