Petrol hike marks start of Swedish ‘driving season’

Tourists have been enjoying unexpectedly inexpensive road trips in Sweden this summer thanks to falling petrol prices. But the treat turned out to be as short as it was sweet.

Petrol hike marks start of Swedish 'driving season'
Fuel prices are going up in Sweden. Photo: Fredrik Persson/Scanpix

Sweden's leading petrol companies raised their guideline price of unleaded petrol by 0.20 kronor on Monday, bringing the total price up to 14.29 kronor ($1.66) per litre.

The hike follows a number of cuts in the past month during a summer that has been unusually kind on Swedish drivers.

Normally, prices are pushed up at this time of year due to rising demand as consumers hit the road for their summer holiday.

But thanks to the price of crude oil falling across the globe, the cost at pumps in Sweden has remained lower than normal this season.

“I like to see the price of crude oil as a surface of water with petrol prices as corks that can either float high or low in the water. At the moment, the price of petrol is at its highest, but the price of crude oil has been falling steadily,” Ulf Svahn, chairman on the Swedish Petroleum and Biofuels Institute (SPBI), told The Local last month.

The benchmark price for crude oil worldwide, Brent Crude, was $51.09 per barrel on Monday – down from an average of $102 in July last year.

READ ALSO: The Local's ultimate guide to travel in Sweden

Tourists have been flocking to Sweden this summer, despite the rather disappointing weather.

But foreign drivers hoping to score an even cheaper deal are advised to wait until September, when there's likely to be a sharp drop in costs at the pumps.

”The classic European summer holiday is in August, or as we call it 'driving season', so we have to wait until September before demand — and the price — drops,” said Svahn.

Etanol fuel E85 also went up by 10 öre to 10.83 kronor a litre on Monday. The price of diesel remained unchanged at 12.90 kronor.


Thieves make 40,000 litre diesel raid

Police are on the hunt for diesel thieves who stole a huge quantity of fuel from an automatic filling station in Vilhelmina, northern Sweden, with the raided goods estimated to be worth 600,000 kronor ($92,000)

Thieves make 40,000 litre diesel raid

The culprits managed to manipulate the pump operated by IDS (International Diesel Service) to steal the fuel and carry out the heist according to police in Umeå.

It was an automatic pump, with the theft only discovered when a reading was done remotely in the company's Stockholm main office, showing that 40,000 litres of diesel had been stolen.

“It's not yet clear how it happened but it seems they managed to manipulate the filling station. Many others have used the pump afterwards so it is hard to establish a physical track,” Michael Karlsson, duty officer with Umeå police, told local newspaper Västerbottens-Kurien.

Police have since investigated the scene in order to secure any clues. Technicians from IDS have also inspected the automatic machine to establish how the crime was carried out.

“The timing of the theft is unclear,” said Michael Liljenberg, also of Umeå police, who appealed for witnesses to come forward with any additional information about the crime.

“For these kinds of crimes to be solved it requires close observation or camera surveillance,” he added.

Last year, seven men were arrested on suspicion of aggravated robbery and weapons crimes after a truck driver was beaten and robbed of 450 litres of diesel fuel at a rest area north of Gothenburg, western Sweden.

TT/Patrick Reilly

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