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Hungary limits vehicle fuel price caps to households

Energy Trade

The MOL refinery is set undergo a two-month overhaul.

Hungary's government on Saturday restricted a HUF 480/liter regulated price for motor fuel to private individuals and mandated the release of diesel fuel from strategic reserves as the country's main refinery shut down for an overhaul, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minister's Office, announced the measures at a weekly press briefing.

The government decided to narrow eligibility for the price cap to make motor fuel imports viable as Hungarian oil and gas company MOL shuts down its main refinery for a two-month overhaul, Gulyás said.

The decision to release 184 million liters of diesel from strategic reserves - 24% of the total diesel and crude in the reserves - will also ease the supply squeeze, he added. 

He noted that a delay restarting OMV's Schwechat refinery in neighboring Austria has weighed on motor fuel market supply, too.

The measures were detailed in decrees published in the official gazette, Magyar Közlöny, on Saturday. The decree that stipulates that vehicles operated by businesses must pay the market price for motor fuel makes an exception for taxis.

Another decree published on Saturday raises the rate of the windfall tax MOL's refining business must pay on the spread between Russian crude and Brent from 25% to 40%.

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