Fuel prices - Sainsburys

The major supermarket groups are profiteering despite cutting fuel prices from their recent record levels, according to the RAC.

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 by a feather despite the wholesale market plunging.”

The price of a litre of unleaded at a supermarket is now 185.15p on average with diesel at 194.16p, almost mirroring the UK average prices of 185.98ppl and 195ppl. Until recently supermarket prices were normally around 4ppl less than the average.

Williams said: “The weekly delivered wholesale cost of petrol has dropped by a huge 19ppl since early June, from 151ppl then to just 132ppl last week. Yet on average, supermarkets have dropped 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 16ppl 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 4ppl since the all-time highs of early July, from 199ppl to 195ppl. By our calculations, another 6ppl cut is due that would bring the average price of a litre down to 189p.

“We continue call on all major fuel retailers to go much further in reducing their prices in the coming days to ease some of the burden on drivers during what is the costliest summer ever on the roads.”