Normal competition on fuel prices between the big four supermarkets appears to have resumed in March after four months during which Asda’s competitors stopped tracking its prices as closely as they have in the past.
RAC Fuel Watch reports that from the end of October until the end of February the other three supermarkets were charging around 3ppl more for petrol than Asda but this has now closed again to the customary 1ppl to 1.5ppl.
Asda began a series of rises from late February, making for a 3.6ppl increase by the close of March – from 113.7ppl on 21 February to 117.31p on 31 March – but these weren’t mirrored by the other three major supermarkets, meaning the gap has closed.
In the overall market the average price of petrol rose for the second month in row with a litre going up by 2p in March to 122.58ppl, but the average price of diesel only increased by 0.70p to 130.67ppl.
However, the current price of petrol is still 8ppl cheaper than it was in October last year (131ppl), which was the highest price seen since July 2014, and diesel is also 6ppl cheaper than it was in October (136ppl).
The pump price rises have been fuelled by a 4% jump in the cost of oil from $63.81 to $68.07 and a 2% drop in the value of the pound against the dollar ($1.32 to $1.30).