As petrol price rises hit forecourts, is 'market speculation' to blame?


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The Independent Online

Petrol price rises of up to 4p per litre are set to be posted in Britain’s 8,000 service stations from next week, provoking fierce criticism from motoring organisations.

The rises, which some fuel retailers suggested were due to “speculation” by traders in the wholesale market, will start filtering through as new stock arrives in tankers.

“This news could not have come at a worse time for the tens of millions of households who rely on their car,” said the RAC’s technical director David Bizley.

“It’s hugely disappointing for motorists that another painful price rise is looming, particularly as it comes so quickly after the good news that the Government has scrapped the planned January 3p fuel-duty increase.”

The Petrol Retailers Association, which represents forecourt operators and motorway service outlets, said wholesale prices had already risen by 5p a litre since Christmas.

Chairman Brian Madderson said: “We cannot explain to our customers why the wholesale price is going up so much – it is not due to Government tax, it is not due to Brent crude going up and it is not due to the weak currency exchange. So are traders, bankers or speculators taking British motorists for a ride?”