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Fuel prices at the pump rise despite drop in wholesale values

Date: 05 February 2020   |   Author: Illya Verpraet

Data from the RAC shows that fuel prices at the pump continued to rise throughout January, even though crude oil prices dropped to the lowest level since August.

The wholesale price of a litre of petrol and diesel fell by 4p and 7.5p, respectively, to 92.98p and 94.74p. Regardless, retailers continued to put prices up, with the average price for petrol now at 127.6p per litre and diesel at 131.08p per litre - one penny up from the start of the month for both fuels.

The wholesale price for both dropped sharply at the end of the month as a result of crude oil going below $60 a barrel for the first time since the end of October. This is partly due to the impact of the corona virus outbreak on global demand for oil.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: "Retailers were very quick to protect themselves from a slight jump in the price of oil caused by the tensions between Iran and the US at the start of January by putting up forecourt prices, but when the cost of a barrel dropped back, for some reason, retail prices carried on going up.

"Our biggest retailers - the supermarkets - blatantly resisted passing on the savings they were making to drivers until the RAC publicly called on them to do so on 27 January when RAC Fuel Watch data showed there was scope for a large cut. Two days later a headline-grabbing 3p a litre cut was announced."