Diesel 17p more per litre than petrol despite oil price falls

Business / Wed 29th Mar 2023 at 07:16am

DIESEL is being sold for about 17p per litre more on average than petrol, despite wholesale costs falling to similar levels, a motoring group said reports the BBC.

Average diesel prices are £1.64 per litre compared with £1.47 per litre for petrol, while both are priced at about £1.15 wholesale, the RAC said.

It said the difference was “scandalous” and that cuts in the wholesale price had not been passed on to customers.

Retailers said they “understood the cost pressures” drivers faced.

Supermarkets and private retailers buy fuel on the wholesale market to sell to consumers.

The RAC, which tracks and campaigns on fuel prices, said diesel wholesale prices had fallen and were now the same as petrol on average.

But Simon Williams, fuel spokesman for the motoring group, said there was “still more than 17p difference at the pump” which he described as “absolutely shocking”.

Mr Williams said given the amount wholesale prices had dropped, forecourts should have already reduced pump costs for diesel to about £1.52, and a further cut to £1.47 in the coming weeks should feed through.

When prices change in the wholesale market, they can take time to feed through to changes at the pumps, due to how frequently smaller sellers restock.

But Mr Williams said larger supermarkets, which dominate sales, had been given “plenty of time” to pass on lower prices to customers.

Supermarkets buy fuel more frequently than independent sellers.

“They [supermarkets] remain totally resolute in their refusal to cut their prices substantially which is nothing short of scandalous, particularly in a cost-of-living crisis,” he said.

“For retailers to be taking a margin of nearly 20p a litre on average throughout March, compared to the long-term average of 7p, is devastating for every driver and business that relies on diesel.”

However, the British Retail Consortium, which represents supermarkets, said: “Retailers understand the cost pressures facing motorists and will do everything they can to offer the best value-for-money across petrol forecourts.”

The trade body did not comment on the disparity in prices directly, but said because prices at the pump tend to lag behind wholesale prices, the recent falls in diesel wholesale prices were still filtering through to consumers.

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3 Comments for Diesel 17p more per litre than petrol despite oil price falls:

David morton
2023-03-29 07:19:34

Why are we paying so much more for diesel than petrol when diesel costs much less to refine, pure greed.

Neil WarnerBaker
2023-03-29 09:26:08

Probably got something to do with the recent change to E10 as this additive (ethanol) now makes up 10% of Petrol and is a cheaper product

David Andrew
2023-03-29 15:22:47

Petrol prices in Harlow are still a major rip-off. I recently switched back from E10 to E5 and now enjoy better engine performance and fuel consumption. Prices (rounded-up) in Sainsbury's and Tesco at the moment are £1.47 per ltr for E10 and £1.54 for E5. The other Harlow petrol stations charge £1.48 to £1.50 for E10 and in the £1.60's for E5. Except that is for BP at Staple Tye who want £1.90 for their E5. How on earth can they justify that price and are people actually buying it from them? Of course, all drivers who travel outside Harlow also know that they can pay at least 5p per ltr less for E10 in the same petrol stations in other towns. Why are they allowed to to take us all for a ride here?

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