Hungary, MOL has introduced volume restrictions

, SEE Energy News

The demand for fuel has risen to record levels, thus the Hungarian oil and gas company MOL, which operates the largest petrol stations network in the country, has introduced volume restrictions.

Regular gas stations have a cap of 100 liters for a single purchase, while gas stations with a larger turnover are capped to 500 liters. The Hungarian Government recently announced that the wholesale price of gasoline and diesel will also be capped at 1.3 euros per liter as of 28 February.

A price cap on petrol and diesel prices was still in place in November 2021, and this measure is now extended until 15 May. The government introduced the measure to mitigate the impact of high inflation. The maximum wholesale gross selling price that can be applied by suppliers is now also 1.3 euros per liter, as is the retail price applied by petrol stations. No other costs or fees may be charged, and the supplier MOL may not refuse to enter into a contract with the retailer applying the official price.

This means that petrol stations have to pay as much for the fuel as they can sell it for. Before this measure, after the price cap was introduced, petrol stations bought fuel at a higher price than they sold it for. This was particularly unprofitable for smaller, independent petrol stations and jeopardized their operations.

MOL introduced the restriction because large companies contracted at wholesale prices have started to buy fuel at petrol stations, as they would not otherwise be subject to the price cap. However, they would now get the fuel at a higher price than wholesale. So they are more likely to go to MOL petrol stations and fill up with hundreds or thousands of liters.

In late February, Shell Hungary has introduced a restriction on the purchase of fuel at ten stations most used by international freight traffic. Shell operates a network of 191 petrol stations in the country.