Energy Prices 2020

High-quality data on end-use energy prices
In this report

This overview presents a selection of data from the IEA Energy prices database. This database includes annual energy prices data for more than 100 non-OECD countries, for gasoline, automotive diesel, natural gas, electricity and other products, and data on end-use prices and taxes updated quarterly for OECD countries.

Data service
Introduction

This map is without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area. Gasoline prices refer to 2019 or the most recent available year, i.e.: 2018 for Algeria, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Jamaica, Malawi, Papua New Guinea, Mexico, Peru, United Republic of Tanzania, and 2015 for Iceland and Morocco. In general, country level prices refer to mid-grade gasoline, with a research octane number (RON) between 93 and 96. Prices for regular gasoline (≤92 RON) were used for the following countries: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Mali, Nepal Niger, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan, Rwanda, Senegal, Tajikistan, Togo, the United Republic of Tanzania, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. Prices for high-grade gasoline (≥97 RON) were used for Hong Kong (China).

Energy prices are a significant part of our domestic expenditures, play an important role for industrial competitiveness and influence energy consumption patterns. End-use prices -paid by final consumers- are affected by movements in commodity markets as well as policy decisions. As countries move away from regulated pricing in energy markets, monitoring energy end-use prices around the world has become increasingly important for analysts and policy makers. The IEA Energy prices database serves this purpose by being the most reliable global database that uses official sources with transparent and documented methodologies for each country.

Complementing its historical quarterly data for Energy prices and taxes of OECD member countries, the IEA’s World energy prices database provides users with high-quality annual data on end-use prices for most non-OECD countries in the world. Following the efforts to enhance the coverage of this database, the 2020 edition has expanded to include fifteen new countries and eighty-five new products/sectors across countries. The database also contains sub-national transport fuel prices for selected countries, and Consumer Price Indices for all countries covered.

In an effort to enhance the value of this database, the IEA is glad to note that the 2020 edition has been expanded to include a dedicated taxation database which contains a detailed breakdown covering seven categories of taxes across sectors and products for around fifty countries. The Energy price database casts light on how energy prices (and taxes) vary around the world and how they change over time.

In 2019, the global average price of gasoline1 was 0.91 US dollar per litre (USD/l), a 2% decrease compared to the previous year. Price levels varied greatly across countries: from 0.24 USD/l in the Islamic Republic of Iran to over eight times that amount in Hong Kong (1.97 USD/l). There are many factors which explain price differences, but it is interesting to note that the former is a crude oil exporter while the latter is an importing country with high demand and higher taxes.

Government policy - in the form of taxes and/or subsidies – strongly influences how prices at the pump vary around the world. For example, European consumers pay the highest gasoline prices, generally reflecting high taxes on fuels2. At the other end of the spectrum, the lowest prices are found among countries that subsidise3 liquid fuels.

Global fuel price changes, 2005-2019

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In recent years, automotive diesel and gasoline prices have tracked movements in crude oil prices. Not surprisingly global pump prices are, on average, significantly higher than the underlying crude spot prices as they also reflect transformation, transport and marketing costs, besides taxes levied on fuel sales.

Fuel price distribution across countries, 2019

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Fuel price distribution, 2019

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As for global prices, country-level prices for gasoline and automotive diesel are strongly correlated, with gasoline being more expensive in most countries (Figure 3). However, the global consumption-weighted price of gasoline is lower than that of automotive diesel in a number of important countries, including the United States.4

Annual fuel price changes in selected major economies, 2017-2019

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In 2019, prices for gasoline and diesel decreased both globally and on a country level following the marked decrease (-10%) of the crude oil price. At a regional level, pump prices tracked movements in crude markets more closely in the United States and China than in the European Union – largely reflecting taxation levels and market5 structure.

Gasoline end-use prices trends in the MENA region, 2005-2019

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While the global gasoline price follows crude spot trends, different dynamics occur at regional level. For example, significant changes were seen in the MENA region in recent years (Figure 5) due to both policy developments and economic effects (exchange rates and inflation).

Due to the role of policy, prices in Algeria and Saudi Arabia have shown little correlation with crude price movements until the recent increases due to reductions in fuel subsidies, and also the introduction of value-added taxes (VAT)6 in Saudi Arabia. Despite such trends, prices in these two countries were still among the lowest in the world in 2019. Egypt has been progressively increasing the fixed pump price to reduce the burden on the country budget; still, the price expressed in 2015 US dollars decreased (-28%) because of the combined effect of inflation and depreciation of the national currency.

Transport fuel price variation from the national average, Brazil and China, 2019
 
 

This map is without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area. This map shows the percentage change from the average price in the country.

Geographical variations in transport fuel prices exist within a country due to several factors including pricing framework, sub-national taxes, distribution costs (proximity of consumers to suppliers), marketing costs (retail competition and margins) and refining costs (different environmental regulations).

For example, sub-national gasoline prices in China are more homogenous due to national price regulations compared to those in Brazil where prices are market-based and largely affected by local taxes.

Residential electricity prices in selected economies, 2018

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Residential electricity prices also vary significantly across countries. For example, in Turkmenistan, households had benefitted from free electricity7 until 2018, while consumers in several other countries face high utility bills. It should be borne in mind that prices in US dollars do not consider differences in the cost of living across countries, making it hard to assess how expensive or affordable electricity is for consumers in each country. As an example, by converting the data using purchase power parity (PPP) adjusted exchange rates, electricity appears significantly more expensive in Brazil than Australia, while the opposite is true when comparing prices using nominal exchange rates.

Electricity price distribution across countries, 2018

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Electricity price distribution 2018

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Distribution of residential and industry electricity prices, 2018

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Electricity prices for residential use are generally higher and also vary more widely across countries than those for industry.

At a global level, the consumption-weighted electricity price for industry falls between the median and 25th percentile, showing that countries where prices are relatively lower tend to have a relatively greater specialisation for industrial sectors.

Electricity prices for residential use have a wider spread and seem to follow a bimodal distribution across countries, while the distribution of electricity prices for industry shows less variability, probably due to the fact that market regulations tend to keep the price for industry low to maintain competitiveness.

Energy taxation structures

The end-use price of an energy commodity is influenced by the amount of taxes) that are added to the cost of production, transportation and distribution. For gasoline, the incidence of taxation over the final price can reach levels as high as 65%8. The 2020 edition of the IEA Energy prices database has been expanded to include more information on taxation by category (or motivation) of tax. In addition for gasoline, qualitative data on the extent of price regulation have been included for ninety-five countries.

Taxation is an important source of revenues for governments and is used to raise funds for the general budget or to internalize the external costs associated with the use of a given commodity. An increasing number of countries have started earmarking taxation to more transparently show the purpose of single excise taxes. Examples include: environmental taxes (either linked to sulphur or carbon content); energy security taxes; or social taxation to subsidize access to energy for all.

Environmental taxes on gasoline for selected countries, 2019

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Taxation breakdown for gasoline in selected countries, 2019

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Gasoline price distribution in different market frameworks, 2019

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Governments adopt different regulations and approaches to ensure the balance between affordability, environmental concerns, and other policy objectives.

For example, a significant number of countries fix the price to encourage greater access for the population, effectively subsidizing consumption. Other countries, where affordability is less of an issue and spending for energy represents a smaller share of household expenditure, markets are more liberalized, with interventions restricted to taxation. In a third group of countries, governments adopt an intermediate scheme, partially controlling the end-use price (e.g. through a price cap) limiting the fluctuations of the end-use price linked to the crude spot market. Post-tax prices in liberalized markets are generally higher. For example, the average price for gasoline is 0.82 USD/l in a subset of thirty-eight countries with fix price, while is 1.03 USD/l in a subset of forty-four market countries.

References
  1. The global average price of gasoline is the consumption-weighted average of gasoline prices in all countries where data are available.

  2. For disaggregated data on energy taxes in OECD member countries, please refer to the IEA Energy prices and taxes quarterly publication.

  3. For more information on subsidies, please refer to the IEA’s analysis at: https://www.iea.org/articles/low-fuel-prices-provide-a-historic-opportunity-to-phase-out-fossil-fuel-consumption-subsidies

  4. In 2018, the United States consumed 35% of global gasoline and 14% of global automotive diesel.

  5. In China, the market is regulated by the government by fixing refining margins according to crude oil price variations.

  6. Saudi Arabia introduced VAT for the first time on 1 January 2018, at a rate of 5%.

  7. All households receive free electricity up to a certain level of consumption. The free-consumption threshold was reduced from 35 kWh per person per month in 2013 to 25 kWh per person per month. The government changed the regulation and the price was 7.14 USD/MWh in 2019.

  8. This level of taxation is reached in Finland and the Netherlands.