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Posts Tagged ‘energy’

Where to find petrol (gas) in France

The Local France has an interactive map of where to find gas (petrol) stations that have supplies. They also have a map of where the gas shortage is being felt the worst.

The Economist has some essential reading from May 27 that covers the recent mayhem including more than 2,300 petrol stations that are either dry or rationing portions.

Travel wisely and be safe. I’ll be Tweeting updates from my handle @AmExpatFrance.

Home gas prices up in France April 1, up 20% in past year

According to this article published in French magazine Le Point, the Commission de régulation de l’énergie (CRE), the French Energy Regulatory Commission, has approved a request for a price hike in natural gas used for home heating.

The energy company GDF Suez, in which the French government has a 35% stake, requested the increase, which will take effect April 1. The increases have been steady, and this last measure will make rates 20% higher than a year ago, and 60% since 2005.

Consumer organizations, notably association de consommateurs UFC Que Choisir, have voiced discontent with this measure, as the increases over the past year have meant an additional 200€ on average spent by families.

The article specifies that most of the natural gas that GDF Suez imports is based on 20-year supply contrats with countries such as Norway, Algeria and Russia. Pricing for gas prices takes into account the evolution of the euro-dollar exchange rate, the price of heating oil and crude oil and the price of natural gas listed in Amsterdam (or the APX-ENDEX).

Read more in the original article, “Les prix du gaz augmentent de 5,2% le 1er avril, de plus de 20% depuis un an.”

Mideast turmoil, record gas (petrol) prices in France

Prices at the pump are at record levels in France, largely due to the rise in oil prices which in turn can be explained by the instability in the Middle East, especially in Libya, (when is it ever stable? I guess I should say exceptional instability). Of course it’s necessary to take into account the VAT (value-added-tax) at 19.6% (tax that goes to the French state). But there is also the TIPP (taxe intérieure sur les produits pétroliers), a tax on petrol-based products explained in detail here.

Right now the average price for unleaded 95 grade is 1.5067 euros per liter (according to report by BFM TV). You can watch the video here in French. This is the first time it’s surpassed 1.50, or about $7.92 per US gallon at today’s exchange rate. Some analysts even predict prices may continue to rise and surpass the 2 euro mark.

News sites like RTL are showing anger against these price hikes, blaming it on the State and the oil companies. You can follow energy prices here at Bloomberg.

AFP: Energy bill, euro fall, hit French trade balance

August 6th, 2010 1 comment

This article courtesy of AFP.

(PARIS) – The French trade balance showed a reduced deficit in June but an increased gap for the first six months of the year, data from the economy ministry showed on Friday.

In June the deficit fell to 3.796 billion euros (5.0 billion dollars) from 5.179 billion euros in May.

The fall came after exports picked up to total 33.0 billion euros in the month from 30.0 billion euros in May, helped mainly by sales of equipment for transportation, notably airliners.

But for the first six months, the deficit increased to 24.5 billion euros from 20.4 billion euros for the same period of last year.

The trade balance is an important indicator of the competitiveness of an economy and the ability of a country to pay its way in the world in trade in goods and services. The trade data form part of an even more critical measure of long-term fundamental forces in the economy, the balance of payments.

France has been running a structural trade deficit for some time, and analysts say that this reflects a number of underlying weaknesses in the economy.

The deficit over six months increased mainly because of an increase in the energy import bill, as denominated in the euro which has fallen against the dollar.

The ministry noted that exports had risen by 10.0 percent in the first half on a 12-month comparison and that for the second quarter they had risen by 6.0 percent.

Junior Trade Minister Anne-Marie Idrac said that this “shows the capacity of French exports to bounce back as the economy emerges from the crisis.”

She welcomed a particularly big increase in trade with emerging economies.

Separate data from the budget ministry showed that the central state budget showed a sharply reduced deficit of 61.7 billion euros at the end of June from 82.4 billion euros in the first six months of last year.

This reflected the ending of exceptional measures to stimulate the economy through the downturn and a rise of tax revenues, it said.

The central government budget is one of three components forming the public deficit, which is the figure used by the European Union to measure excessive deficits.

EU countries, and notably countries in the eurozone, are bound to contain any public deficit to less than 3.0 percent of output. Several countries, including France, have far higher ratios, notably because of the costs of facing the global economic downturn.

France, in common with several other countries, is now working on reforms to reduce its structural deficit.

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