Energy Prices: Overview

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.
Introduction

Energy prices represent a significant portion of our domestic expenditures, can determine industrial competitiveness and influence energy consumption. End-use prices - those paid by final consumers - are affected by movements in commodity markets, as well as by policy decisions. As countries move away from regulated energy prices, monitoring end-use prices around the world has become increasingly important for analysts and policy makers. The IEA Energy prices is the most reliable global database, using official sources with transparent and documented methodologies for each country.

Energy prices product comprises two databases:

  • Energy prices and taxes of OECD countries with data updated quarterly;
  • World energy prices, with data updated annually .

In an effort to enhance coverage, starting with the 2021 edition coverage will expand to include selected quarterly, monthly and weekly data, in addition to yearly data; and thirty-six new products/sectors across countries. The product also contains sub-national transport fuel prices for selected countries and a dedicated taxation database with a detailed breakdown in seven categories of taxes across sectors and products for fifty seven countries.

The Energy price product casts light on how energy prices and taxes vary around the world, and how they change over time.

In 2020, the global average price of gasoline1 at the pump was 0.81 US dollar per litre (USD/l), a 11% decrease from the previous year. The decline was mostly due to a steep fall in the price of crude oil in the first half of 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Price levels varied greatly across countries: from 0.32 USD/l in the Islamic Republic of Iran to over six times that amount in Hong Kong (2.01 USD/l). Many factors explain price differences, but it’s worth noting the former is a crude oil exporter while the latter is an importing country with high demand and higher taxes.

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 2020 or the most recent available year, i.e.: 2019 for Afghanistan, Plurinational State of Bolivia, Chad, Ecuador, Finland, Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Jamaica, Mali, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Peru, South Africa, Tajikistan, Uganda and Uruguay, 2018 for Mexico and Botswana, 2017 for Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and 2015 for Iceland and Morocco. In general, 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, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, 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).

Global quarterly fuel price changes, 2010-2020

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In recent years, automotive diesel and gasoline prices have tracked 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, as well as taxes.

Weekly gasoline price trends for selected countries, January 2019 – April 2021

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In all countries, prices at the pump are influenced by spot crude oil prices and regulation frameworks. Governments can let retail prices float freely, or fix them. In countries where the end-user price is closely controlled, it often doesn’t reflect crude oil price fluctuations. For instance, the figure above shows prices in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain remain flat despite crude oil fluctuations because their governments fix the end-use price and subsidize consumption.

Transport fuel price variation from the national average, Brazil and China, 2020
 
 

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 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, gasoline prices across China are more homogenous -- due to national price regulations -- compared with Brazil, where prices are market-based and affected by local taxes.

Distribution of residential and industry electricity prices, 2019

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Sectoral electricity price distributions, 2019

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Electricity prices for residential use are generally higher and also vary more 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

End-use energy prices are influenced by the taxes imposed on production, transportation and distribution. For gasoline, taxes can account for as much as 69%2 of the final price.

Energy taxes are an important source of revenue for government budgets or to cover the external costs associated with the use of a given commodity. An increasing number of countries have started earmarking excise taxes for specific purposes.  Examples include environmental taxes to deter sulphur or carbon use, energy security taxes, or "social" taxes to subsidize access to energy for all.

Environmental taxes on gasoline for selected countries, 2020

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Taxation breakdown on gasoline in Slovenia and Portugal, 2020

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

  2. This level of taxation is reached in Israel and Italy.