UK gasoline prices set to rise for seventh consecutive month | Gasoline prices

UK gasoline prices are expected to rise for a seventh consecutive month after hitting a two-year high over the weekend.

The price of unleaded exceeded the average by 129 pence per liter, its highest point since June 2019, as the rise in the price of crude oil was offset by growing demand from drivers. The price of diesel rose to 131.4 pence on average at pumps, the highest since January 2020, before the first coronavirus lockdown.

The steady rise in gasoline prices since November 2020 is one of the longest on record, and if sustained, the trajectory threatens to push the cost of unleaded for motorists to a seven-year high in just a few weeks. , according to figures from the RAC Foundation.

Fuel prices fell 20% during the 2020 lockdown, as fewer cars were on the roads, but rebounded ahead of what was to be the busiest automotive weekend of the year so far, the first public holiday after Covid’s restrictions on travel are relaxed. and overnight stays.

Small retailers have been hit hard, with the proportion of fuel currently purchased in supermarket forecourts reaching around 60% in the UK, up from 45% before the Covid-19 pandemic, according to RAC spokesperson Simon Williams.

“People have been more dependent on their cars but haven’t driven the miles – this has had the unfortunate effect of forcing small fuel retailers who haven’t been able to cope with the reduction in custom.

Private car use in the UK fell to around a third of normal levels in the first lockdown, but is now almost back to 2019 traffic levels, according to the latest Figures from the Department of Transportation.

Steve Gooding, Director of the RAC Foundation, said: “In some ways, the steady rise in fuel prices is a positive sign as it indicates an economic recovery and growing demand for travel. But that’s little comfort to the vast majority of drivers who couldn’t afford to switch to expensive electric cars to purchase and who rely on fossil fuels to go about their daily lives.

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The relative strength of the pound against the dollar, in which oil is bought in bulk, insulated UK drivers from higher gains. However, the price of a barrel of Brent fell back to just under $ 70 (£ 49.35) a barrel, from its low of $ 20 in April 2020, ahead of an Opec meeting on Tuesday where producers of oil will decide to increase their production.

Williams said, “Because of the vaccination schedule, the reduced restrictions and people driving further, you have a greater demand for oil. The wholesale price could go up – it depends on whether Opec releases more oil to meet the increased demand around the world. “

Analysts expect Opec to stick to plans to gradually ease supply cuts through July. Meanwhile, Iran has said it could pump an additional 6.5 million barrels of oil per day, or about 7% of global demand, if negotiations with the United States over the nuclear deal allow the lifting of sanctions on oil exports.

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