Chart: Top 10 countries with lowest gasoline prices, January-June 2015
The average global retail price of unleaded gasoline 95 is USD 1.05 per liter in the first six months of 2015, according to data from GlobalPetrolPrices.com. For comparison, the figure for diesel is USD 0.98 per liter. These figures mask significant variations across countries and regions. As a rule of thumb, advanced economies experience higher fuel prices due to higher tax levels compared to most developing countries. One important exception is the US market where drivers enjoy relatively low prices as a result of low federal and state taxes.
In some countries, particularly those exporting crude oil, the government uses oil revenue to subsidize the prices of a range of products and services, including retail fuel prices. As a result, these prices are well below the cost of gasoline production and serve as a tool to maintain public support for the government. Subsidies, however, come with a number of unwanted externalities: low gasoline prices promote wasteful use, traffic congestions, higher carbon and air pollutant emissions and cause negative health effects. A recent IMF estimate shows that in 2015 global energy subsidies, including those for coal and other fossil fuels, amount to USD 5.3 trillion. That is 6.5 percent of global gross domestic product. It is no surprise that the recent oil price slump put fiscal policies in oil-rich countries under pressure and forced revisions of fuel subsidies (UAE is one of the latest examples).
The chart below shows the ten countries with lowest gasoline prices in the world for the first six months of 2015. Figures are average of weekly rates collected by GlobalPetrolPrices.com. At less than USD 0.02 per liter, gasoline for consumers was cheapest in Venezuela, followed by Libya (USD 0.12 per liter) and Saudi Arabia (USD 0.16 per liter). Oman is at the bottom of the chart, with average gasoline price of USD 0.31 per liter. Note that all of the ten countries are specialized in extracting crude oil and only Oman, Bahrain and Turkmenistan are not members of OPEC, the world’s petroleum cartel.
To see global fuel price trends in Q2 2015, check our first Quarterly Bulletin (PDF file).
To see current pump prices of gasoline around the world, please refer to this page.