July saw the first increase in the average price of petrol and diesel for three months following a late surge in the cost of oil, according to the RAC.
RAC Fuel Watch data shows a litre of unleaded increased by nearly a penny (0.7p): having begun July at 114.47ppl it rose to 115.17ppl. Diesel went up by a similar amount (0.73p) from 115.27ppl to 116ppl.
Both rises were brought about by a 6% increase in the price of oil which started July at $48.98 and closed $2.83 higher at $51.81. This contributed to a 2% rise in the wholesale cost of both fuels, the effects of which motorists may feel in the next week or two.
Prices at the UK’s big four supermarkets increased more than the rest of the market with the average cost of supermarket petrol going up a penny (0.91p) from 111.14ppl to 112.05ppl and diesel by 0.83p from 111.63ppl to 112.46ppl.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “Sadly, July was the month when pump prices went up for the first time since April, albeit by just under a penny a litre. While this is not that significant in itself, wholesale prices have gone up due the price of oil increasing by 6% in July, reversing June’s similar percentage drop. It remains to be seen how much impact this will prove to have on the forecourt. Fortunately, a barrel of oil is still quite a lot cheaper than it was at the end of March when it was just over $55 so this doesn’t automatically signal forecourt price rises.
“As it stands it’s hard to see which direction pump prices are going to head in the next couple of weeks. Even though wholesale prices have increased, the strengthening of sterling in the last week has softened the effect of the oil price rise. There may well be some short-term small increases on the forecourt but it is important to realise there is still a global oil glut despite attempts from the OPEC producers group to curb production and boost the barrel price.”