Wholesale fuel prices have only risen very slightly as a result of the pound weakening after the UK voted to leave the EU, according to the latest fuel price report from the RAC.
It said average prices of petrol and diesel at the pumps, reported by Experian Catalist, have increased for the fourth month running, with unleaded up 1.5ppl (110.69ppl to 112.17ppl) and diesel by 1.66ppl (110.73ppl to 112.39ppl in June.
During the month oil prices increased from $48 a barrel to an early high of $50.73 and then fall to a mid-month low of $45.95 before finishing June back on $48, coupled with the pound hitting a 31-year low against the dollar.
The impact of the 11% post-referendum fall in the value of the pound was softened by a simultaneous 6% drop in the oil price, meaning wholesale prices were largely unaffected. The pound ended the month 7% weaker falling from $1.43 to $1.34.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: "June was another bad month for motorists with the price of petrol going up again. While it was only a penny and a half it makes for a rise of more than 10ppl since the start of March.
“But it is good news that fuel prices are so far weathering the Brexit storm; wholesale prices have remained relatively stable after an initial small upward jolt as a result of the pound falling on news of the referendum result. The fact the oil price dropped at the same time lessened the negative effect of the pound’s devaluation. We may well see pump prices rise slightly in July, but current indications are that this is unlikely to be the shock rise some were predicting.
“The lower cost of a barrel of oil plays the greatest part in keeping forecourt prices down. It’s also worth remembering that compared to a year ago we are still paying around 5ppl less for petrol and nearly 8.5ppl less for diesel.
“While economists are saying the pound is unlikely to recover the ground it lost against the dollar so dramatically the day after the referendum, the oil price looks likely to stay around the $50 mark for some time due to OPEC’s continued over production strategy. There is also a hope that prices might even fall once various issues that have hindered production around the world are resolved.”
The Experian Catalist figures also showed regional variations in price with the South West and East Anglia seeing the largest rises in average petrol prices at 1.7ppl, while Scotland had the biggest diesel price increase at 1.76ppl.
However, unleaded petrol in Scotland saw the smallest increase in the UK at just 1.23ppl. The East Midlands saw the smallest diesel increase at 1.48ppl. Northern Ireland remained the cheapest place to buy both petrol and diesel in the UK with petrol averaging 110.99ppl and diesel at 110.64ppl. And the South East had the most expensive fuel with unleaded at an average of 112.70p and diesel at 113.05p.