If the governmental negotiators agree, Belgian diesel prices would surpass the Dutch prices, which would be good news for Dutch gas stations, who have been suffering from the "fuel tourism" towards Belgium.
10 cents more expensive than in the Netherlands?
One of the possible new measures in the government negotiations is an excise increase for diesel fuel, to eliminate the difference between diesel and gasoline. The negotiators intend to raise the price 20 cents per liter, pushing it to 1.6 euro per liter, while Dutch prices are at 1.5 euro per liter.
The Belgian price hike would end the fuel tourism of the past few months. That is what gas stations in the Netherlands are hoping for. "It is good news for our members", NOVE director Erik de Vries said. "Some gas stations in the border area have lost a quarter of their turnover."
Interest group BETA believes it is a unexpected godsend, which "will help a lot". "The last time our excise went up 5 cents, a lot of customers moved across the border. A small price hike in Belgium would could right that wrong", spokesperson Edsko Schuitema said.
Statistics firm CBS calculated in July that the Dutch excise increase led to a huge fuel sales drop. The drop in February reached 18 million liter of diesel, while in May, it had already reached 50 million liters. Dutch gasoline sales dropped 7 million liters in February and reached 27 million in May. "CBS's numbers concern nationwide sales, not only the sales in the border area. The situation over there is even more extreme, with losses up to 70 or 80 %", the organizations said.