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Tracy West: retail commentator

Happy New Year to you all. I was going to begin the year with a look at trends but, if you were to believe all the hype, the biggest trend of all seems to be veganism.

Merril Boulton: editor

What an aggressive lot those 'gilet jaunes' are, turning Paris into a war zone last month with the worst riots in decades. Protesters clashed with police, looting stores and torching shops and cars, creating absolute chaos on some of the most iconic streets in the city. The reason? Rising fuel taxes. Welcome to our world or it would be if it wasn't for organisations such as the Petrol Retailers Association, who try to educate and inform those in power without so much as lifting a match or sporting a yellow vest. What the French need is Le PRA!

Brian Madderson: PRA chairman

Many industry watchers thought that the very high values achieved by dealers (up to 12 x EBITDA) for their assets would soon start to wane.

Chris Judge: analysis editor, Argus Media

International oil prices were in freefall in November, posting the steepest monthly decline in four years on oversupply and political turbulence rippling through two of the world's largest producers, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Alexander Russell: consultant, Car Wash Association

The Parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has published its report on hand car washes (HCWs) in the UK following written submissions and hearings held in the summer from a number of stakeholder parties, including the Car Wash Association.

Tracy West: retail commentator

Can you believe it's December already. Well, actually I know all of you can because you will have been planning your stock and staff for months. Me? Well, I am just your average consumer so the fact that December is here is still a bit of a shock!

Merril Boulton: editor

Very interesting forum last month on 'The next steps for low-emission vehicles...' (see Industry Insight p23). Apart from the fact that the move to electric vehicles and the necessary infrastructure required to service them, all sounded like one huge, challenging mess despite the enthusiasm of some of the presenters there were certain points raised that made my ears prick up.

Stephen Marcos Jones: director general, UKPIA

As autumn begins to pinch, this is when we as a nation (or the high street retailers at least) begin counting down to Christmas. Santa's delivery supply chain while impressive only covers one day of the year whereas we'll have to keep fuel flowing over the whole Christmas period and beyond, but I'm sure we're all looking ahead in anticipation to the weeks to come.

Chris Judge: analysis editor, Argus Media

International oil prices shed more than 10% in October. Markets fell from the highs seen in September, as Saudi Arabia increased production and assured customers that it would plug any gaps caused by loss of Iranian oil to sanctions. UK transport fuel prices were broadly neutral, but Ice Brent futures ended the month at $75.04/bl, a loss of $7.68/bl on the month.

Ray Blake: PRA technical director

The unmanned operation of petrol filling stations is growing across the UK, sometimes because it is the only feasible way for vehicle fuel to be accessible in remote areas. But also where companies have evaluated the cost of installing and monitoring technical solutions against the ever-rising cost of employing personnel and decided that the outlay is worthwhile.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 20 January 2020
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East Midlands132.93141.67128.44
North East131.55139.57126.67
North West132.1066.90140.54127.58
Northern Ireland129.82134.61125.46
South East133.80141.93129.03
South West132.9567.90139.13128.12
West Midlands132.7866.57142.07128.26
Yorkshire & Humber131.9963.90141.14127.34

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As Brexit day finally arrives at the end of January, are you expecting any negative impact on your forecourt business through leaving the EU?

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