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RAC presses retailers to cut fuel prices as oil price slumps

Press Release   •   Jun 08, 2017 11:34 BST

The RAC is calling on retailers to cut the price of fuel after a sudden drop in the price of oil has brought wholesale costs down.

Oil dipped well below the $50 a barrel mark last Friday and has stayed there since leading to a significant reduction in the wholesale price of both petrol and diesel. This gives the supermarkets the opportunity to reduce their prices due to the fact they buy fuel more frequently than other retailers and will be already benefitting from lower wholesale costs.

Petrol could be cut by 2p a litre while diesel, which should already have been reduced due to previous wholesale savings, could be cut by around 4p a litre across the country.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “We have been monitoring supermarket fuel prices closely since the oil price began to tumble hoping that we would see them come down, but sadly that has not happened yet. In fact, one even increased prices by half a pence a litre.

“The cost of a barrel of oil fell to $47.15 on Wednesday – the lowest price since early May – contributing to a 2p a litre reduction in the wholesale price of petrol since 24 May. In the same time period the price of wholesale diesel has come down by more than 3.5p a litre.

The average price of unleaded at the four major supermarkets is currently 113.55p in contrast to the national average of 116.49p, but the drop in the price they buy their petrol in at ought to mean that comes down to nearer 111p a litre.

“Supermarket diesel is on average 114.33p a litre at the moment when it should also be around 110.5p a litre as the wholesale price is now lower than that of petrol. The UK average for diesel is 117.56p a litre which is at least 4p too high which suggests non-supermarket retailers are charging more for diesel than they should be.

“We sincerely hope the reason that retailers have not passed on savings in the wholesale price to motorists at the pumps this week is nothing to do with them thinking that people are distracted by the General Election.”

The fall in the oil price has been brought about by the fact the United States has been found to have more oil and petrol supplies than expected which has demonstrated that production cuts from OPEC (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries), in agreement with other major producers, are not having the desired effect of reducing the oversupplied oil market.

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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