Supermarket chain Asda cut petrol prices by 2p per litre this morning, sparking a supermarket petrol price war as Morrisons and Sainsbury’s followed suit shortly after.
Asda, which accounts for about 7.5 per cent of the fuel market, cut the price cap for its pumps to no more than 126.7p per litre for unleaded fuel. Diesel remains at 130.7p per litre.
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Morrisons soon followed suit, announcing it was cutting prices by 2p at its 335 pumps across the UK from tomorrow. It does not have a fixed price.
Sainsbury’s, which is in merger talks with Asda, followed suit by matching the two other supermarkets at its 311 forecourts.
AA fuel price spokesperson Luke Bosdet told City A.M.: "At last the logjam has been broken. For the past three weeks wholesale price of petrol has been falling and pump price hasn’t. It’s a typical case of the retailer chains watching each other to see who breaks ranks first."
Prices across the UK have risen by 10p per litre since the beginning of the summer, their highest since the summer of 2014.
Asda's senior fuel buyer, Dave Tyrer, said: "Today's latest move shows that Asda is once again cutting the cost of filling up for motorists following a decrease in the wholesale costs on unleaded.”
Earlier this month the RAC warned rising oil prices and a weakening pound had sent fuel prices soaring.
Petrol prices have gone up during eight of the last 12 months, while diesel got more expensive during nine months in the past year. British motorists were paying a UK average of 130.59p for unleaded, compared to 115.51p a year ago, RAC Fuel Watch data showed.
AA spokesperson Luke Bosdet added: “Some of the independents will closely challenge the supermarket price, and others will make their money off those drivers who don’t go to supermarkets. In general we should see the pump prices start to fall.”
Wholesale prices have fallen by 3p a litre, Bosdet said.