RMI Petrol has condemned the Government’s misleading and damaging comments surrounding forecourt retailers and the price of fuel.

RMI Petrol believe that recent press reports have prompted the Government through Justine Greening MP, Secretary of State at the Department for Transport, to opportunistically deflect criticism of the impending 3.02ppl duty rise on August 1 by heaping blame on retailers.

Brian Madderson, RMI Petrol chairman, commented: “Suggestions that the falling price of crude oil (US$/barrel) and wholesale price movements on the continent (Eu/litre) should dictate further pump-price cuts across the UK by independent forecourt operators is damaging to this struggling sector and shows lack of any real understanding of fuel price mechanisms.

“It is appalling that the Government has failed to engage with the fuel retailing industry before issuing misleading information for short-term political expediency. They are clearly irritated by continuing and justified media and public criticism of their unflinching stance on the planned fuel duty increase this summer.

“While crude oil price in US Dollars has significance over time, it is the daily Rotterdam market-based Platts US/$ per tonne price which is converted into pence per litre that influences UK pump prices.

“RMI Petrol’s Big Oil wholesale price assessment system shows that petrol has fallen by 8.436ppl from the end of March to present day, whilst the Experian Catalist UK average price for petrol has fallen from a peak of 142.48ppl on 16 April to 135.17ppl at 28 May – a reduction of 7.31ppl. At more or less the same time, Big Oil recorded that the wholesale price of diesel fell by 5.92ppl, whilst the Experian Catalist average reduced from peak 147.93ppl on 12 April to 140.90ppl at 28 May – a reduction of 7.03ppl.

“Over the past month, the Pound Sterling has weakened against the US Dollar from £1.622 to £1.557, equivalent to nearly a 2ppl impact on the wholesale price to UK independents.

“It can be seen that between these two grades, with sales on independent forecourts now close to 50:50 share, the retailer has brought pump prices down overall by the full extent of the wholesale reduction.

“Where is the scope for further pump price reduction demanded by Government? This episode justifies immediate cancellation of Government’s planned duty rise NOT an unwarranted attack on retailers.”