Supermarkets have begun quietly raising their fuel prices, but with none of the publicity or social media blitzs associated with their price cuts through December and into January.

Only two of the big four groups formally responded to Forecourt Trader when it asked each of them how much they had put their fuel prices up in the last seven days, but Asda, which did not respond, has clearly recently raised its price ceiling.

On Monday January 12 Asda press released a 2ppl reduction in its price ceiling, taking unleaded petrol down to 103.7ppl and diesel to 110.7ppl and that price was maintained into February.

However, this Friday morning (February 20) the price of unleaded petrol listed on the web page for Asda’s Brighton Marina outlet was 2ppl more expensive at 105.7ppl and diesel was listed at 112.7ppl.

While Asda operates what it terms a national price cap on fuel prices, the other three supermarket groups said they could not give a definitive answer on prices as they price locally.

A Tesco spokesperson said: “Our pump prices track the costs of Brent crude oil which has risen from a low in January of $45 a barrel, to the current level of over $60 a barrel. Our retail price has gone up between 1ppl and 2ppl over the past two weeks in reaction to this large increase in cost prices. We’re committed to helping customers save money on fuel and with Clubcard Fuel Save customers are saving on average 6ppl, which can make a big difference to families on a budget. It also makes filling up at Tesco cheaper than anywhere else.”

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “Our pricing policy on fuel is applied locally to ensure we remain competitive within the local area, offering customers a fair price wherever they live.”