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Hurricane Harvey hits home

PRA 01/09/2017

Brian Madderson, Chairman of Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) warns that the impact of the record breaking “Hurricane Harvey” devastating the Texan coast around Houston will also be felt by UK motorists as the summer season ends.

“The wholesale price of petrol has increased by over 4.20ppl in just the last 5 days, with no major variations to the £/US dollar exchange rate this week and relatively stable prices for Brent Crude, this massive wholesale price hike can only be ascribed to the events in Houston.  Across this coastal region, refineries have closed and oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico have shut down, but it is still sobering that UK wholesale prices have been affected quite so quickly”, said Brian Madderson, Chairman of The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA).

The PRA has been in contact with Platts, independent provider of information and benchmark prices for the commodities and energy markets, and they confirmed that “there have been a large number of oil tankers set to move to the US from Europe carrying gasoline to make up shortfalls in the Gulf region, therefore gasoline cracks have surged to over a two-year high. Diesel has not been so affected as the UK imports over 40%, mainly from Russian sources”.

Madderson continued, “Margins have been tight for some time this year so increases of this magnitude will have to be passed on at the pump rather quickly.  Average prices for petrol this week have been 117.3ppl* and one can now see averages above 120.0ppl gripping the market as we move into September.  This will be bad for UK inflation, for cash strapped UK motorists and for the economy as money is diverted from other purchases”.

The PRA believes the Chancellor would be unwise to consider fuel duty increases in his Autumn Budget if he really wants the UK economy to avoid any recessionary trends.

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Brian Madderson is available for interview.
*Figures from Experian Catalist

About the RMI

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.