The PRA has rejected suggestions that fuel prices will start to rise again as a result of a deal between two major oil producers, Saudia Arabia and Russia. Last month ministers from the two countries agreed to freeze the output of oil at current levels, in a deal that also requires other big producers to cap their output.

PRA chairman Brian Madderson said: "In order for prices to start to rise we need to see a cut in output, not just a freeze by the big two, and a cut by other OPEC members such as Iran and Iraq. There is a massive overhang of stock which will take some time to work through. "

(See Comment on page 7.)