Industry experts have said there is no evidence of systemic “pricing” or profiteering by fuel retailers, amid a crisis that has seen petrol forecourts dry across the UK.
Prices at pumps rose to their highest level since 2013 and as queues formed outside petrol stations on Tuesday and the government put the army on standby, angry motorists expressed their dismay on social media.
A Twitter user posted: “Just waited to meet with £1.50 worth of 1 hour. It is disgusting that petrol companies are laughing at us motorists too. “
Tory MP Craig McKinley wrote: “It is disappointing to see reports of pump price profiteering in some areas of the country.”
Others suggested that drivers nervous about buying fuel should pay more and that rising prices would help solve supply problems by reducing demand.
However, AA said its data indicated the increased prices were due to rising wholesale costs of oil, not because the companies took advantage of motorists desperate to fill their tanks.
“Petrol pump prices are at a new eight-year high, but the average hike since the weekend hasn’t been huge,” said AA fuel price spokesman Luke Bossdet. Granthshala. “Obviously, there have been incidents of major surges at individual fuel stations, but not across the board.”
AA’s data from across the UK shows the average price of petrol has gone up a little over 1p to 136.43p from 135.26p at the start of the month. The diesel has jumped a bit more – from 136.65p to 138.45p. The AA said those hikes will be due to rising prices that retailers will have to pay for petrol and diesel themselves.
A barrel of Brent crude – a major oil industry benchmark – crossed $80 a barrel on Tuesday, nearly double its price a year ago. Costs have risen as countries emerge from coronavirus lockdowns, resulting in greater demand for oil to fuel more economic activity.
Mr Bossadet said: “Just to complicate matters, the wholesale price of diesel has risen by 6p a liter since the summer, including 5p in recent weeks. Being misconstrued as ‘increasing the price’.
“AA will keep an eye on the pump prices once the fuel supply is re-arranged. We will highlight if the pump price margin, once taxes and wholesale costs are eliminated, remains higher than in the summer. “
Despite little evidence of price increases, the cost of a liter of fuel varies greatly from place to place. For example, AA figures show that at the BP forecourt in Clackett Lane services on the M25, drivers will pay 149.9p for a liter of petrol, while at another BP site just moments down the road, the cost is 136.6p. Is. The AA said these price differences are not new and were observed prior to the current crisis.
RAC said it has noticed “a small number of retailers taking advantage of the current delivery situation by raising prices”. The motoring organization advised people to compare the price they are being asked to pay with the current UK average.
Brian Maderson of the Petrol Retailers Association, which represents independent filling stations in the UK, condemned the profiteering.
“Most of our members, independents, have a regular subscriber base and if they hurt their subscriber base they don’t deserve to have them when this crisis is over,” he told BBC Radio 4. Today program. “People have long memories and I would urge anyone who thinks about trying to make quick money, to think again because it just isn’t perfect.”
Motorists have been warned to expect a further hike in petrol prices in the coming weeks as increased oil costs continue to filter through the forecourt.
Analysts also warned that continued pressure on fuel supplies was hurting Britain’s economic recovery.
Dr Florian Lucker, senior lecturer in supply chain management at Bayes Business School, said panic buying distorted the fuel supply chain, causing refineries to ramp up their production.
“Due to processing times, they will not be able to reduce these additional capacities when demand returns to normal. As a result, there is an oversupply of fuel and the cost of these inefficiencies is usually passed on to the customer.”
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /