Highway Robbery - Oil speculators take UK consumers for a ride says PRA

Published 14/02/2013 00:00:00 in Press Releases

“With pump prices set to continue rising, the Chancellor must take swift action in the Budget on 20th March to cancel the proposed duty rise in September and cut this damaging tax which restricts economic recovery and adds to inflation” said Brian Madderson, Petrol Retailers’ Association (PRA) Chairman

UK wholesale prices for road fuels continue to defy market logic with petrol up by more than 9.00ppl since Christmas and diesel up by over 7.00ppl. Yet UK refiners still complain of a production “glut” of petrol and demand levels continue to be affected by the wintry weather across most of the country.

Madderson continued “Weakening exchange rates account for a part of the recent increases as does the rise in Brent Crude. However the majority of the wholesale cost increase is unexplainable.  Why did the OFT carelessly conclude in their recent findings ‘while these issues (impact of speculation and manipulation of oil spot and futures markets) could potentially raise serious concerns, we have not received any credible evidence to suggest such concerns are arising.....and do not propose to carry out any further investigation’.  The Government urgently needs to address this and other fuel market failures by the OFT when reporting last month on their Call For Information (CFI).

“The bad news for motorists and businesses is that pump prices will increase yet further with national averages of 140ppl for petrol and 147ppl for diesel now just around the corner. It will only take Sterling to weaken from its present level of £1.56 down to £1.50 against US$ (the petro-currency) and both fuel grades could soon hit new record highs eclipsing the 142.48ppl for petrol and 147.93ppl for diesel reached in April 2012.  With the Bank of England Governor, Sir Mervyn King, advocating depreciation of the Pound to boost exports, UK motorists and businesses could be in for a very costly rise in fuel prices by the Spring.

“This will continue to stifle the UK’s economic regeneration, is bad news for inflation and very bad news for households and small businesses reeling from recession.”



Keely Scanlan, Press Officer

Tel: 020 7307 3410

Mob: 07825097697

Press Office direct line: 020 7307 3422   

Press Office fax: 020 7307 3406

Web: www.rmif.co.uk       Email: keely.scanlan@rmif.co.uk

The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses.  The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.

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