Supermarkets are currently on their longest unbroken run of fuel price rises in three and a half years, with the cost at the pumps going up by 8p per litre since the end of March.
RAC Fuel Watch claims this represents a price rise every single day since 26 March 2018.
It’s taken a litre of unleaded at the big four supermarkets up from 116.6p per litre to 124.7p per litre. Diesel has gone up from 119.3p per litre to 127.6p. UK average fuel prices are even higher; petrol has risen to 128.2p a litre and diesel to 131.1p.
“This is the worst series of consecutive daily supermarket price rises we have seen since we began monitoring this three and a half years ago,” said RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams.
“The supermarkets are being very quick to pass on increases in the wholesale price of fuel brought about by a 17 percent rise in the price of oil to above $80.” Sadly, he added, “they are far faster at passing on rises in the wholesale price than they are falls.”
Price rises are being influenced by a spike in the price of a barrel of oil, to over $80. The pound is currently week against the dollar.
British supermarkets only operate 18 percent of UK forecourts, but their scale means they actually sell 45 percent of fuel.
New UK high fuel price looming?
Further pain could be in store, warned Williams, because of the weakness of the pound. If oil were to rise to $90, and the pound remain weak at $1.33, then the price of unleaded would rise to 137p a litre.
“If it were to reach $100 a barrel with the current exchange rate, we would likely see a new UK petrol price high of 143p a litre – clearly something none of us want.
“In either scenario, the impact on private motorists and businesses in the UK would be substantial.” It shows just how influential the price of sterling is on UK fuel prices, said Williams.
The last time oil rose to $100 a barrel, the pound was 20 percent stronger, at $1.67. This helped cap forecourt prices to 129p a litre for petrol and 133p for diesel.
The outlook is already bleak for the next few weeks, with another penny expected to be added to petrol and diesel prices. “All we can do his hope the international forces which have caused the oil price to rise ease and take the heat out of prices on the forecourt.”