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Petrol up 6p a litre since start of 2013
UK petrol prices have gone up by over 6p a litre since the start of 2013, according the February edition of the AA Fuel Price Report.
After rising 5p over a month, the average price of petrol on UK forecourts has increased a further 1p in the last five days. Stock market speculation and a fall in the value of the pound are said to be at blame.
Since this time last month, the UK average cost of petrol has increased from 132.71p a litre to 138.32p a litre – a rise of 5.61p.
Diesel has risen from 140.32p a litre to 145.10p a litre – an increase of 4.78p.
But if you go back to the start of January 2013, when a litre of petrol cost 132.08p on average, the increase in price is 6.24p a litre overall.
According to the AA, this means it now costs an extra £3.12 to fill a 50-litre petrol tank, while the 70-litre tank in the latest Ford Mondeo has gone up by £4.37
The rises mean it will now cost a two-car family an extra £13.25 to fill up every month, says the motoring organisation.
The AA blames this “surge” on stock market speculators – who have driven up the wholesale value of petrol from $990 a tonne to $1,100 – and the weakening value of the pound.
The fall of the pound against the US dollar means a wholesale price that would have gone from £611 to £685 per tonne, has in fact increased to £716 a tonne – due to £1 now being worth $1.55 instead of $1.62, as it was at the start of the year.
The AA believes the worst is yet to come, however, since that wholesale rise should be equivalent to an additional 7.9p on every litre – which would actually mean a 9.5p a litre increase once you factor in VAT.
Usually the retail price of fuel – what we pay at the pumps – runs about two weeks behind wholesale prices. That said, the 1p increase over the last five days suggests the pace of pump-side change is speeding up.
You might have thought this would be good news for petrol retailers, but figures from HM Revenue and Customs, supplied by the AA, show petrol sales in the UK fell to their lowest level in 23 years in January 2013.
This can be partially accounted for by the snow – but the disruption caused this year hasn’t been anywhere near as bad as it was in 2010, and fuel sales were still higher then.
These figures suggest British motorists are now really starting to feel the strain of ever-higher fuel prices, and the AA is already urging the Government to reconsider the duty rise planned for September.
AA president, Edmund King:
“This latest surge in fuel prices and its impact on spending indicates that UK drivers and families can’t take any more. We’re no longer talking of the motorist as a cash cow for tax and speculator greed, but a horse slowly but surely being flogged to death.
“This is the third 10p a litre wholesale price surge in 11 months.”
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