Moldova is the only country in Europe where the petroleum products sector is regulated, with a daily price ceiling being approved, stated Violina Șpac, the director of the National Energy Regulatory Agency, during the annual conference of the Romanian Competition Council. According to her, this mechanism has proven to be effective during times of crisis. However, the ANRE director expressed hope that Parliament would decide on a gradual return to a free market.
“In the last 5 years, there has been a constant dispute among governmental and parliamentary authorities: who is to blame for the increase in fuel prices? This led to the temporary intervention solution, but this temporary measure persists. ANRE has been entrusted with new competencies to approve a daily standard petroleum product price ceiling, similar to the exchange rate system. Therefore, the entire sector, all importers – we are talking about the retail market for petroleum products – cannot set their prices in the competitive market. Paradoxically, this mechanism, in fact, in the midst of a crisis, has proven to create transparent prices, prices that correlate with international exchanges, as we do not have domestic production, and all petroleum resources and products are imported. Effectively, these price shocks, including those on the exchanges, are somehow mitigated by this mechanism,” mentioned Violina Șpac.
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In Moldova, the price of gasoline will fall below 24 Moldovan Lei, and diesel will be priced below 23 Moldovan Lei. Violina Șpac also noted that ANRE does not approve fuel prices only on weekends and holidays.
It is worth noting that since the summer of 2021, the National Energy Regulatory Agency has adopted a new methodology that sets the maximum prices for petroleum products and liquefied gas based on daily reference indicators published by the institution, depending on international exchange rates.