The surge in UK petrol pump prices, which has added an average 3p per litre (ppl) to the cost since June, shows signs of faltering according to the latest AA Fuel Price Report.
Average prices peaked last week at 137.61ppl, before dipping slightly over the weekend. The AA said some non-supermarket retailers were already taking advantage of a 1ppl to 2ppl dip in wholesale prices over the past three weeks by undercutting local superstore prices.
However, the average cost of diesel has risen from 140.24ppl a litre in mid-July to 141.87ppl now, and diesel now costs nearly 1.5ppl more than a year ago when it averaged 140.45ppl.
The AA said wholesale prices remained volatile, with speculation on the impact of unrest in Egypt, fluctuating US stocks and Chinese economic indicators helping to lift the oil price above $110 a barrel for the first time since the spring. Closure of Libyan export terminals at the turn of the month provided the final impetus. Meanwhile, swings in the value of the pound against the dollar, from $1.51 to the current $1.55, influenced UK pump prices up and down by up to 1.5p a litre.
“Recent wholesale price falls and evidence of individual non-supermarket retailers undercutting the superstores suggest the UK fuel price climate is cooling enough for some welcome respite for drivers,” said Paul Watters, head of AA public affairs.