Prague - Fuel prices at filling stations in the Czech Republic will rise in about the middle of March in connection with the conflict in the Crimea, mainly due to higher prices of crude oil on global markets, according to analysts polled by CTK today.
Global crude oil prices have been reflecting the growing tension between Russia and Ukraine since this morning and they have climbed to several months' highs, Akcenta analyst Miroslav Novak said.
Prices of petrol and diesel oil in the Czech Republic could rise by Kc1 per litre in two weeks, he added.
According to Novak, the rising price of crude oil has not showed an influence on the price of automotive fuel yet. Fuel prices usually react with a delay of about two weeks, so the effect of more expensive crude oil should appear at filling stations in the middle of March, he said.
"There is not doubt that if the situation in the Crimea escalated further, crude oil prices would be catapulted steeply upwards, as would prices of fuel at filling stations. The price hike per litre of fuel might reach Kc1 or even more," Novak said.
The development in the Crimea is not the only factor influencing the current increase in crude oil prices since there are also unrests in Libya, Novak noted.
According to Conseq Investment Management director Lukas Vacha, a further impact of the escalation of the Crimean conflict would be rather indirect in the form of growth of global prices of crude oil. "If the conflict lasted longer than several weeks, we would probably feel it in our wallets," Vacha said.
Colosseum analyst Vit Jedlicka noted that the price of crude oil Brent has risen by $2.5 per barrel over the weekend in reaction to the development in Ukraine. If this price rise continued in a long-term horizon, it could lead to a fuel price hike by as much as Kc0.50 per litre, Jedlicka said.
North Sea Brent price climbed to 111.24 per barrel today, the highest level since the beginning of the year. Light crude price reached $104.65, the highest level since September last year.
According to Jedlicka, a decrease in supplies of crude oil and gas via Ukraine may lead to a further rise of gas and oil prices. Imports of crude oil from Russia to the Czech Republic have already been reduced markedly in recent years, so this would not post a major problem, but cuts in gas supplies would have more serious consequences, Jedlicka said.