The RAC is urging retailers to pass on recent reductions in wholesale costs of petrol by cutting forecourt prices by 2p per litre, following weeks of rising petrol and diesel prices.
Data from RAC Fuel Watch shows that despite wholesale prices having dropped by between 2.5p and 3p since 22 May, drivers have suffered near-daily fuel prices rises since the end of April (22 April) – with the average price of a litre of unleaded standing at 129.42p and diesel at 132.34p.
In the case of diesel, supermarkets have now been raising the price every single day since the 27 March – again despite wholesale prices having come down by around 2.5p since 24 May.
The fluctuating price motorists pay to fill up at the pumps is determined most significantly by the oil price, and by the sterling to US dollar exchange rate. While May saw historic increases in the price of petrol – largely as a result of a barrel of oil peaking at $80 and sterling weakening against the dollar – since the latter part of last month the oil price has been falling. This has caused wholesale fuel prices to drop, which means retailers are paying less for petrol and diesel.
Recent falls in the price of oil are a result the United States drilling for more oil than it has done in more than three years, increased output from Russia and ongoing speculation as to whether major oil-producing nations that are members of OPEC (the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) will choose to end their current policy of restricting oil production at their meeting later this month. The latter has been credited with raising the oil price since historic lows in early 2016.
RAC spokesperson Rod Dennis said: “Our data shows that it’s high time retailers cut the price of petrol and diesel at the pumps – we see no good reason for them to wait before passing on savings they are benefiting from which have been brought about by falling wholesale prices.
“Motorists really felt the impact of rising in prices in May, when the cost of filling up a petrol family car jumped by around £3.30 in a single month. We are now well into June, and drivers are still waiting for some relief to rising prices."