IEA (2019), "World Energy Prices 2019", IEA, Paris https://www.iea.org/reports/world-energy-prices-2019
This is a short overview of the new World Energy Prices data service. This data service contains annual end-use energy prices for selected products and sectors for over one hundred countries in the world. Complementing the quarterly OECD Energy Prices and Taxes, the world database focuses on prices for gasoline and diesel for transport; as well as electricity for households and industry.
In 2018, the global average price of gasoline was 0.97 US dollar per litre (USD/l), a 14% increase compared to the previous year.
Prices varied greatly across countries: from 0.33 USD/l in Algeria to over five times that amount in Norway (1.91 USD/l). Both of these countries are crude oil exporters, and the price difference between them is mainly determined by national policy decisions. Government policy - in the form of taxes and/or subsidies – strongly influences how prices at the pump vary around the world. In general, European consumers pay the highest gasoline prices, generally reflecting high taxes on fuels. At the other end of the spectrum, the lowest prices are found among countries that subsidise liquid fuels.
Gasoline prices in USD per litreClick any country to add or remove it from the bar graph below.
Geographical variations in transport fuel prices can exist within a country due to several factors including: pricing frameworks, 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 relatively more homogenous due to national price regulations compared to those in Brazil where prices are market-based and largely affected by local taxes.
In recent years, automotive diesel and gasoline prices have tracked movements in crude oil prices.
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 levied on fuel sales.
Just as global prices for gasoline and automotive diesel track each other through time, within-country gasoline and automotive diesel prices in 2018 are strongly correlated. At a global level, the consumption-weighted price of gasoline is lower than that of automotive diesel despite being more expensive in most individual countries. This is because the global average price for gasoline is significantly influenced by prices in the United States.
For similar reasons, the higher consumption of gasoline in the United States pulls the world average price well below the median price, and vice versa for automotive diesel - in 2016, the United States consumed 35% of global gasoline, compared to 14% of automotive diesel.
At a regional level, pump prices track movements in crude markets more closely in the United States than in the European Union – largely reflecting taxation structure. For example, in Europe most taxes are levied on a per volume basis while in the United States, taxes are usually ad valorem (proportional to the value).
For gasoline, the four largest price increases were seen in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Algeria and the United Arab Emirates.
All four cases were linked to policy developments, as these countries reduced their fuel subsidies and/or introduced value-added taxes (VAT), resulting in successive increases in prices at the pump. Despite the high increases in relative terms, prices for gasoline in these countries were still among the lowest in the world as of 2018.
Due to the role of policy settings, gasoline prices in Algeria, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia showed little correlation to commodity price movements until recently, with the United Arab Emirates tracking the movements most closely among the four countries in the last four years.
Residential electricity prices also vary significantly across countries. For example, households in Turkmenistan benefit from free electricity while consumers in several other countries face high utility bills
Comparing 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). By converting the data using purchase power parity (PPP) adjusted exchange rates, electricity appears significantly more expensive in Morocco than Australia, for example, while the opposite is true when comparing prices using nominal exchange rates.
Electricity prices for residential use are generally higher and also vary more widely across countries than those for industry. Globally, the 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 in 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 is approximately normal.