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Extraordinary times we're living in, with the whole world adjusting to much-changed circumstances, and not much of a clue as to when things will return to anything that resembles 'normal'. For the forecourt sector it's been a period of peaks and troughs as the panic-buying hordes loaded their cars with loo rolls, pasta and all things 'anti-bacterial' and initially filled their tanks to the brim with fuel.

Greggs on a 'roll'

I confess to not being a massive fan of Greggs products but obviously loads of people are, including Mr West who is very partial to a Greggs sausage roll or two. In the town where I live, there are always queues of people wanting a sausage roll or other Greggs delight, that snake out of the door. Despite my not being a fan, I am very impressed with the company's sales success going from a regional brand to a UK-wide phenomenon. The company's preliminary results for 2019 show total sales up 13.5% to £1.17bn and pre-tax profits up 27%. They also revealed a very strong start to 2020, with January sales good but slowing down in February which was put down to the storms across much of the UK.

Alexander Russell: consultant, Car Wash Association (CWA)

This year the CWA has already attended two round-table conferences on labour abuse, hosted by Matthew Taylor, the government's interim director at the Office of Labour Market Enforcement (OLME).

Chris Judge: analysis editor, Argus Media

The potential effects of the coronavirus on the global economy dominated discussion in oil markets in February, slicing more than 20% off oil prices since January 20, when it first came to light.

Cloudy crystal ball

My crystal ball looking into the future of petrol retailing has scarcely been cloudier.

E10 on the horizon

The spectre of E10 is on the horizon again following this month's announcement of a government consultation on its introduction (seems like there have been a few over the years!). Issues concerning E10 have been kicked into the long grass for a long time as the fuel retailing industry fretted over its introduction due to its lack of suitability for older cars, and the investment required to accommodate it on many forecourts.

Tracy West: retail commentator

I love Heinz Tomato Ketchup and I also love chocolate but the two together? I don't think so. However, some bright spark has combined the two into a product that's excusively available from Fortnum & Masons for Valentine's Day.

Ray Blake: PRA technical director

As chairman of the Petroleum Enforcement Liaison Group (PELG) I had to postpone a meeting that was due to have taken place at the beginning of January. The reason being that Brexit, followed by the pre-election purdah, had meant that the Health and Safety Executive was unable to agree the actions necessary for the outcomes of the Post Implementation Review (PIR) of the Petroleum Consolidation Regulations 2014.

Chris Judge: analysis editor, Argus Media

When China sneezes, the oil markets catch a cold. Mirroring the effects of the SARS crisis in 2002, oil markets shed more than $8/bl in January on the back of the potential impact on oil demand from the effects of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Stephen Marcos Jones: director general, UKPIA

To paraphrase former US President Gerald Ford, our long national nightmare is over. Sort of. After three rollercoaster years, the Brexit wars are finally at an end. Britain is now firmly outside the club. If you thought it was safe, however, to assume politics will return to the humdrum potholes not people's votes, cones' hotlines not customs unions then think again. Tempting as it may be to draw a line under the post-referendum tumult, fundamental unanswered questions remain about the UK's future now that we've taken back all this control.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 18 May 2020
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East Midlands112.21122.26106.78
North East110.8763.90125.50105.36
North West111.4965.90121.74106.55
Northern Ireland108.30111.90101.84
South East113.30122.65108.11
South West112.20120.84106.51
West Midlands112.13125.92106.81
Yorkshire & Humber111.7057.70123.12106.23

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