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Rush to tank up before fuel tax rise

Petrol and diesel prices are set to rise by six to seven cents per litre.

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Petrol and diesel prices in Finland have been gradually dropping during the coronavirus crisis.

Petrol and diesel prices are set to increase by about six to seven cents per litre from Saturday, when a rise in Finland’s tax on fuel comes into effect.

The impending increase has inspired many motorists to fill up their tanks before the price change, but Neste Director Katri Taskinen assures customers that they are not expecting a wave of fuel-hoarders, and there will be no shortage of supplies.

"Motorists do not have to worry about fuel sufficiency. We are prepared for the growth in demand at the stations and in our transport system," Taskinen told Yle.

Fuel prices in Finland have been gradually falling throughout the coronavirus crisis, leading Petteri Kärki of the Malmi Teboil petrol station in Helsinki to suggest that Finnish motorists are unlikely to be too perturbed by this price rise.

"Personally, I feel that the increase is not very significant. Fuel has been very affordable all summer and people have been able to enjoy the cheap price. Anyway, the price fluctuates and bounces back and forth a few cents every day," Petteri Kärki of the Malmin Teboil petrol station in Helsinki said.

The question of further rises in the price of fuel depends on the development of the world market. In previous years, fuel has often became more expensive in late summer, when seasonal hurricanes disrupt U.S. oil production.

"The global market price of fuel is most affected by the development of crude oil prices, and currently its changes are most affected by the coronavirus crisis," Taskinen said, adding that she was not willing to bet on what will happen to prices during the coming autumn.

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