Fuel prices on the rise again in December
06 January 2020
Author: Illya Verpraet
After four months of falling fuel prices, costs at the pump have gone back up as a result of rising world oil prices, according to data from the RAC.
Over the course of December, the price of petrol went up by 0.24p per litre, to 126.11p. The month started off well, with Asda cutting its unleaded price by 2p, to 117.7p and its diesel price by a penny, to 122.7p.
However, by the end of the month, the supermarket had already undone the entire price cut. A litre of petrol went back up by 2.5p to 120.26p a litre, while a litre of diesel went up to 126.02p.
Averages for the UK were even higher than the prices at the supermarkets. The average price of petrol for all forecourts closed at 126.11p, with diesel slightly more expensive, at 130.61p.
The RAC said that the likely cause of these fluctuations was the cooling trade war between the United States and China. China is one of the world's biggest consumers of oil, but the 17-month trade war had been suppressing demand.
The average cost of filling up a 55-litre car with petrol is now £69.36 - up 13p on November - and £71.84 for diesel - up 41p.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: "While there was some positive news for drivers in December with an overdue fuel price cut from the supermarkets mid-month, after Christmas things unfortunately took a turn for the worse when oil began to go up as a result of the US's trade war with China cooling down. This led to the first monthly increase in the average price of unleaded since July."
"This situation very clearly demonstrates how UK drivers are at the mercy of global oil production issues when it comes to filling up. The trade dispute has helped keep a lid on oil prices and, in turn, petrol and diesel pump prices. Countering this, OPEC, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, and its allies have cut production with a view to keeping the oil price higher."
"As we embark on a new decade it is difficult to see that 2020 will be a good year for drivers in terms of fuel prices. As it stands we can't see any reason for prices to come down significantly. Sadly, it seems more likely that there will be slight increases to contend with, unless of course there is a substantial jump in the value of the pound against the dollar or an unexpected drop in demand for oil."