Maybe you’re thinking that, given the protests against pension reform and the blocking of refineries, it would be better to fill up on fuel next Saturday or Sunday. Very bad idea!
To refuel or not to refuel this weekend in anticipation of a hypothetical fuel shortage, the question does not arise. If you do not have a pressing need for your vehicle in the days to come, it is better to refrain from it.
A situation that is gradually returning to normal
If for the very first time since the beginning of the demonstrations against the pension reform, the strike was renewed over several days, the shortage seems to have been ruled out. And this for many reasons. On the one hand, as Olivier Gantois, president of the French Union of Petroleum Industries, Energy and Mobility (UFIP) told us earlier this week, stocks are full. Conversely, “at the end of September 2022, stocks were very low”. When the strike movement broke out in the refineries, there was already not much left. This is what explained the major supply difficulties that followed the weeks that followed. At the beginning of the week, we left under better auspices.
This has happened because, on the other hand, and even though shipments have been blocked from several refineries or the situation is still tense at 6 of the 7 sites in France, overall, the machine is still running at – almost correctly. The number of stations with a total or partial fuel shortage has been gradually decreasing over the past two days. To date, this March 10, only 389 of them are out of one or more fuels (15 less than yesterday), 77 have none left at all (20 less). Which, compared to the 11,039 stations listed in France (according to the latest shared by UFIP), is very little: just over 4% according to our calculations. The western part of the territory seems a little more affected, as does Île-de-France. But honestly, there’s no need to worry. Anyway, for now. No need to stock up, it would only put the fuel logistics in difficulty when it is not really yet for the moment.
The deleterious effects of precautionary purchases
And such a scenario could simply lead to the worst in the coming days. It is that there could be a new national movement and this one could be more violent than the precedents, to be confirmed. The senators, who are currently examining the bill, have until Sunday evening to vote on the text as a whole. Not certain that they have time to go all the way, in particular because of the obstruction of the left, a return of the text to the Assembly is therefore possible. But already, the fact that the Senate voted for article 7 – the most controversial of all, the one bringing the duration of the legal retirement age to 64 years – has caused great resentment. We are therefore not immune to a runaway. At the microphone of BFM TV, the member of the communist party Pascal Savoldelli warned: “We are ready to go beyond this Sunday”. And yesterday, one of the spokespersons for the CFDT with whom we spoke let us understand that the demonstrators could completely “block fuel logistics” under the effect of bitterness precisely if they believe they do not have been heard.
This weekend, there is no shortage to fear. In the next few days, it is not excluded. But in any case, whether the situation evolves unfavorably or not, precautionary purchases are to be avoided. As Frédéric Plan, General Delegate of the French Federation of Fuels, Fuels and Heating (FF3C), recently explained to our colleagues from Le Parisien (No. 24425 of March 8, 2023): “if each of the motorists driving them ( the 35 million vehicles in circulation in France) adds 10 liters of precaution, that gives you an immediate additional consumption of 200 million liters”. To be compared to the “110 million liters” distributed on average. No need to be an expert in the sector to understand what the deleterious effects of an “immediate tripling of volumes” can be…
Also read on Auto-Moto.com:
Germany’s position on the thermal ban in 2035, “it reflects the hesitations of the German automotive industry”
Strike and fuel shortage: a map to monitor the state of stocks in stations
Strike of March 7: “fuel stocks are full”, no fear of shortage according to a specialist