Supermarkets keeping fuel prices ‘artificially high’

RAC data has found that although supermarkets are reducing the cost of petrol and diesel, the cuts have not happened fast enough and do not go far enough.

Despite wholesale prices falling, the major supermarkets have been accused of keeping the cost of fuel artificially high.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “Following seven consecutive weeks of wholesale prices falling, we’re relieved to see the supermarkets finally reducing their prices a little. Sadly though, the UK’s biggest fuel retailers aren’t cutting their prices at the scale they should be given the wholesale prices of both fuels – what retailers pay themselves – have dropped so much. This is one of the worst examples we’ve seen of pump prices falling like a feather despite the wholesale market plunging.

“The weekly delivered wholesale cost of petrol has dropped by a huge 19p since early June, from 151p then to just 132p last week. Yet on average, supermarkets have reduced the price of a litre of unleaded by just 5.5p since the record highs of early July. Our data shows average prices today should have come down from those highs by 16p to around the 174p mark.

“When it comes to diesel, the weekly delivered wholesale price has fallen by 15p a litre from 161p in mid-June to 146p last week. Yet average prices have reduced by only 4p since the all-time highs of early July, from 199p to 195p. By our calculations, another 6p cut is due that would bring the average price of a litre down to 189p.”