The AA has deemed fuel prices “pump fiction” as costs at forecourts continue to rise despite a slump in wholesale.
Data has revealed that petrol at UK forecourts has reached an all-time high of 191.1p – 0.5p up on Sunday – while diesel decreased from 199.1p on Saturday to 199p per litre on Monday.
Prices continue to soar even though the cost of petrol went down 5p on early June’s levels.
“Pump prices are now more like ‘pump fiction’ as they don’t reflect the general downward trends we have been seeing in wholesale prices,” said Edmund King, the AA’s president.
“The Prime Minister has hinted at action but we need more than hints. Pressure to force price transparency and a cut in duty would be a step in the right direction.”
King’s remarks were echoed by RAC fuel spokesperson Simon Williams, who continues to slam petrol retailers for failing to pass on lower costs.
“We strongly hope pump prices have peaked for the time being and will now start to decrease in line with wholesale prices which reduced last week,” he said today. “That, however, is in the hands of retailers.”
Williams yesterday called on the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to expand its ongoing investigation into the market, focusing on the reasons behind retailers pushing prices up.
The inquiry was launched earlier this month at the request of business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng – amid reports the Chancellor’s five pence fuel duty cut was not being passed on to consumers.
Tom Hatton, head of product management at analytics group Kalibrate told City A.M. last month that petrol retailers are not engaging in wholesale profiteering amid record forecourt prices.
Instead, he argued fuel vendors were ramping up prices for consumers in line with higher wholesale costs more quickly than they did in the past, with retailers more cautious amid soaring oil prices and geopolitical volatility.
He said: “We have not seen cumulative rises like this for years and years.”
Despite the drop in wholesale costs, oil prices still remain historically elevated – trading above $110 per barrel on both major benchmarks amid tight markets and fears of supply shortages.
This volatility is unlikely to decline heading into the cold winter months, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and extensive Western sanctions on Kremlin-backed energy supplies.