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RAC calls for urgent pump price cut as wholesale costs fall

Press Release   •   Nov 11, 2016 00:01 GMT

The RAC is calling on fuel retailers to cut prices at the pumps to reflect the falling wholesale prices of unleaded and diesel that have been triggered by a falling oil price and steadying pound.

On 9 November 2016, RAC Fuel Watch data shows the average price of a litre of unleaded in the UK stood at 116.76p, with diesel at 118.64p. With wholesale prices down by around 4p in the last two and half weeks (25 October), the RAC believes there is now scope for a forecourt price cut of at least 3p per litre off both fuels, which would bring average petrol and diesel prices down to under 114p and 116p respectively.

The fall in wholesale prices means that the most price-competitive retailers including supermarkets and some independents could be selling petrol for around 110p a litre and diesel for 112.5p.

Despite wholesale prices having been falling since 25 October the average price of both petrol and diesel have actually very slightly increased, by around a third of a penny.

The ‘flash crash’ of the pound that occurred at the start of October, coupled with the oil price that rose through much of the month, has been pushing the price of petrol and diesel up. In fact, petrol rose more in October than in any month in the past three and a half years. But the more recent fall in the cost of oil and a slight recovery in the value of the pound is cancelling out some of October’s rises.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “Fears are looming that OPEC’s planned production cut, due to be agreed at the end of November, won’t come to fruition and consequently won’t stem the over-production of oil that has kept prices low. The effect of that has been a short, sharp fall in the oil price, down from more than $50 a fortnight ago to around $43 now. This, combined with a rallying pound following last week’s High Court case on Brexit and the result of the US election, is causing wholesale prices to fall – which should be good news for motorists.

“Consequently, we are now looking to retailers to cut their forecourt prices and save drivers money when they next fill up. We are very surprised retailers haven’t reduced their forecourt prices in the last week as they have a good recent record of passing on wholesale price savings at the pump. However, this current unwillingness to cut will not help their cause in getting motorists to believe that forecourt prices don’t go up like a rocket when wholesale prices rise and fall like a feather when they’re coming down.

“A logical conclusion is that retailers are taking advantage of the current climate which has led people to think that higher fuel prices are an inevitability simply because of the weaker pound and talk of the rising cost of goods. A petrol and diesel cut by retailers now will send the right message to consumers that they can still benefit when wholesale fuel prices fall as they have done in recent days.”

Motorists can keep abreast of the latest fuel prices by visiting rac.co.uk/fuelwatch or following #racfuelwatch on Twitter.

Notes to Editors

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About the RAC

With more than eight million members, the RAC is one of the UK's most progressive motoring organisations, providing services for both private and business motorists. Whether it's roadside assistance, insurance, buying a used car, vehicle inspections and checks, legal services or up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information – the RAC offers a solution for all motoring needs. The RAC is committed to making motoring easier, safer, more affordable and more enjoyable for drivers and road users.

The RAC is the motorist’s champion and campaigns to support the interests of its members and UK motorists at a national level, including advancing levels of road safety, supporting the needs of young drivers and voicing concerns about the increasing cost of motoring. The RAC’s annual Report on Motoring – first published in 1989 – provides a clear insight into the concerns and issues facing today’s motorists.

For the very latest news on UK fuel prices, check RAC Fuel Watch or follow #racfuelwatch on Twitter. This is a comprehensive guide to the latest UK unleaded petrol and diesel prices – both at the wholesale level and at the pump. RAC Fuel Watch analyses how prices changed through the previous month and compares the most recent prices with those from three, six and 12 months before.

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