There has been remarkable movement in the crude oil and refined petroleum products market in the past month, according to Darren Briggs, managing director of

“May was extremely volatile with the market trends experiencing numerous peaks and troughs. The product costs had increased by nearly 6ppl and 4ppl respectively since the beginning of April. At the beginning of June the market experienced a substantial increase in product costs clearly showing how volatile the market is.”

Briggs said the war in Iraq had been a major influencing factor in influencing prices, as well as fears from terrorists attacks threatening supply from oil terminals. Other factors included the shortage of fuel in America in the lead up to its ‘summer driving’ season; and the fact China’s economic growth and maufacturing output reached an all-time high.

“The most influencing factor now would be the transfer of legal authority in Iraq to an interim government which could possibly spark fresh acts of terrorism in the region, which could then have a knock on effect on the refined product market,” said Briggs.

“In the current UK retail market environment we have seen the hypermarkets reducing their pole signs from the mid ‘80s to 79.9ppl and further recent reduction to 77.9ppl.

“At 77.9ppl there is a retail gross margin of approximately 2.96ppl for Prem UL and 2.82ppl for ULSD.”