Fuel price rises for third consecutive month, but cuts could come in days

Petrol and diesel reach highest prices since March, but a fall in wholesale costs could see petrol reduced at pumps

Emma Featherstone
Tuesday 03 October 2017 00:10
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A favourable exchange rate is important for forecourt petrol prices
A favourable exchange rate is important for forecourt petrol prices

Drivers were forced to stomach higher fuel prices for a third consecutive month in September, but a cut could be on its way, according to the RAC.

The average cost of unleaded petrol rose by nearly 1p to 119.19p per litre in September, and diesel went up by 1.34p to 120.31p over the month making both the most expensive they have been since March.

But the RAC on Monday said that it expects retailers to cut petrol prices by at least 2p per litre in the coming days thanks to a falling wholesale price. This has dropped despite the oil price rising to almost $69 per barrel – its highest since summer 2015.

Usually an increase in oil prices would mean a rise at the pump but a slight boost in the pound in recent weeks has mitigated this. Fuel, like oil, is traded in dollars.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “We saw the supermarkets cut 2p a litre off petrol in late September as a result of the lower wholesale price. But there is now scope for a further round of pump price reductions as wholesale unleaded is 6p a litre cheaper than it was at the start of September.

“If the big retailers were to play fair with motorists we would see at least another 2p a litre come off unleaded at the pump. This would be good news as it would drive the price of unleaded down from 119p a litre towards 117p. Unfortunately, the wholesale price of diesel is static so we won’t be seeing any cuts there,” he said.

“The late September petrol and diesel cut from the supermarkets was a demonstration of how important a favourable exchange rate is on the forecourt.”

To fill up a 55-litre family car with petrol cost £62.88 in June, but is now £65.55. Meanwhile, a tank of diesel costs £66.17, up by £1.34 since the end of August.

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