Asymmetry Between Crude Oil and Retail Fuel Prices in Poland
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Publish date: 2014-10-31
Gospodarka Narodowa 2014;273(5):133–160
The article explores an asymmetry between the prices of crude oil on international markets and the prices of fuel at Polish gas stations. According to the author, retail fuel prices in Poland tend to change faster when the price of crude oil increases rather than when it falls. The author conducts an empirical investigation using a cointegration analysis followed by more complex approaches: an asymmetric error correction model (ECM) and an ECM model with threshold cointegration. The study found an asymmetric relationship between the price of crude oil and pump prices in the case of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and diesel fuel and no asymmetry for gasoline, the author says. Moreover, when the price of crude oil increases, diesel fuel prices at Polish gas stations tend to respond almost twice as fast as when the price of crude oil decreases, Socha says. This can be attributed to price differences between various types of fuel and differences in the structure of consumers, according to the author. Gasoline is the most expensive fuel and from a customer’s point of view it is a good benchmark for current trends on the Polish fuel market, the author argues. He adds that the rising price of crude oil on the global market after 2004 was the main reason for increased fuel prices at Polish gas stations. In the case of gasoline, retailers have been ready to adjust prices to changes in market conditions almost immediately because gasoline is mostly bought by households, Socha says. In the case of diesel fuel, price adjustment has often been delayed, the author argues, because this type of fuel is predominately purchased by businesses.