While fuel prices in Croatia are breaking records, owners of petrol stations across the border in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and rubbing their hands in glee. One man’s loss is another man’s profit. And as petrol prices started to soar in Croatia many drivers made their way across the border to make the most of cheaper fuel prices. Of course, petrol prices in neighbouring BiH are slowly rising but they are still considerably lower than in Croatia. Figures suggest that a litre of petrol is on average two and a half Kuna cheaper in BiH, which if you are filling the tank is a considerable saving.
As the world market fluctuates like a bucking bronco so fuel prices around the globe rise. This week diesel prices in Croatia broke the 11 Kuna a litre mark, the most expensive a litre has been in the past seven years. The Croatian government also decided to react, and to stabilize prices for a period of 30 days, which limits the price of gasoline to about 11 Kuna per litre. And in reaction to this the main oil company INA stated that they will only sell premium fuel until stocks run out. The government passed a decree according to which traders in petroleum products can sell petrol for a maximum of 11.10 per litre for the next 30 days, and diesel for 11 Kuna. "I believe that in the next 30 days there will be a stabilization of prices on the market and that after that period we will continue to function normally as an economy," said the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Tomislav Ćorić.
So whilst the government locks horns with the main fuel company many citizens have decided to take their business elsewhere and save some hard-earned cash. And it isn’t only petrol companies in BiH that are enjoying the windfall, supermarkets and restaurants have also seen a jump in customer numbers. As drivers go to fill up their tanks so they stop off to do some shopping or have a meal, the knock-on effect of rising petrol prices. And as winter comes drivers are also stocking up on anti-freeze, winter tyres and de-icer across the border.