Hungary to tweak price formula imposed on fuel traders, PM Orban says

'National Conservatism' conference in Brussels

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungary's government has decided to tweak a formula imposed on fuel traders to curb prices, excluding some central European countries from the basis of comparison, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told public radio on Friday.

Orban's government said last week it was giving fuel traders two weeks to adjust their prices to the central European average, as part of a wider government price-setting intervention following last year's inflation surge.

However, in an apparent step back from the pressure applied on fuel traders, Orban said the government was now focused on bringing prices in line with those in neighbouring countries, excluding Poland, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

"We will re-calculate the numbers, but based on that we will make sure that they keep to our agreement that Hungarians cannot pay more for fuel than people in neighbouring countries," Orban said, adding the initial proposal was "not without fault".

Zsolt Hernadi, CEO of Hungarian oil and gas group MOL said last week he was concerned that state intervention in markets will affect the company's plans.

Orban's government scrapped a fuel price cap in December 2022 after a lack of imports and panic buying led to fuel shortages.

(Reporting by Anita Komuves; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)