In recent months petrol prices have risen drastically, April saw the second steepest rise since 2000 (the first was May 2018). People are starting to feel the pinch and as we draw close to payday no doubt many people will be struggling right now.
New RAC data shows that supermarkets raised the price of fuel virtually every day for three months now, more than smaller independents and local sites. These price rises have culminated in a 9.69ppl rise since the 21st February, from 115.75ppl to 125.44ppl average.
Why the rises?
As always the price of oil dictates the peaks and troughs in the price we pay at the pump. Market instability down to Brexit, Trump and increased demand globally have all driven the price up this year with the end of April peaking at a $73 a barrel. For the remainder of April and most of May a barrel of oil has been keeping at the $70 a barrel mark.
Despite the current situation in the market, where the average barrel is not rising or falling much, industry experts predict that by the end of the year we could be seeing a $90 barrel. Such prices have not been seen since 2014, where in June 2014 a barrel of oil was at over $100. Trump’s sanctions on Iran are bearable at the minute as output globally is maintaining the levels but by the end of the year experts predict that the sanctions on Iran will be felt through Iraq as military presence increases on the Arab/Persian border. Washington recently announced a Naval increase in the region as warning signs show increased hostility towards US troops. However, Iran understands that a full-blown conflict would not end well but a proxy-war has been expected for a long time with Tehran.
At the minute Brexit and the uncertainty around it has had an increase in oil prices with unknown tariffs and trade deals. Trump, as always, has had an impact with his announcements over trade deals, waivers on certain countries and restrictions on others.
Normally it is smaller retailers who have to charge more due to higher overheads but it seems the supermarkets have increased prices even when smaller independents have managed to drop or maintain prices.
During the three-month period retailers managed to drop prices five times while supermarkets continued to increase every day.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said:
“Our data very clearly shows the wholesale price of unleaded has increased dramatically over the last three months which has inevitably led to forecourt prices rising. But it is concerning to see the supermarkets, who many drivers trust to provide them with good value, putting up their prices when other smaller retailers have actually being fairer with their customers by more closely mirroring movements in the wholesale price.
“While three months of almost daily price rises isn’t an accurate reflection of wholesale price movements, the supermarkets appear to be protecting profits by being overly cautious about not getting caught out by the odd day of lower wholesale prices in what they believe is a consistently rising wholesale market.
However, one supermarket is doing their best to pass on some savings to drivers as when you spend over £60 in Sainsbury’s on groceries you get 10ppl off fuel. Some Nectar card owners have also had a spend £15 on TU and get 8ppl off a litre on fuel. The 10ppl off is valid for everyone however the 8ppl offer will only be for certain Nectar card users. See more on the 10ppl offer here: https://help.sainsburys.co.uk/help/website/fuel-tcs
Have you noticed the increases? What will a further increase mean for you? Let us know below