Fuel prices hit record highs with petrol soaring to 162.5p a litre in Portsmouth

FUEL prices have broken new records as a slump in wholesale costs failed to make an impact at the pumps.

Figures from data firm Experian Catalist show the average cost of a litre of petrol at UK forecourts on Sunday was 163.5p, while diesel was 173.4p. At Hilsea’s Shell petrol station, the cost for petrol is 162.5p today.

A month ago, pump prices were 148.0p per litre for petrol and 151.6p per litre for diesel.

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Library image of long queues at Shell petrol station in Goldsmith Avenue on September 24, 2021. Picture: Mike Cooter (240921)

Oil prices plummeted last week, leading to a cut in wholesale costs for fuel retailers.

This followed a surge in prices due to supply fears caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The price per barrel of Brent crude, the most commonly used way of measuring the UK’s oil price, reached 139 US dollars on March 7, which was its highest level in 14 years.

But the price plummeted to 109 US dollars two days later, and remains around that level.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said the average price of petrol ‘appears to be on a collision course with £1.65 a litre’.

He went on: ‘While there will almost certainly be more rises this week, drivers should soon get some respite from pump prices jumping by several pence a litre every day as oil and wholesale prices appear to have settled.

‘The price hikes seen over the weekend are still a result of the oil price rise which began at the start of the month and peaked early last week.

‘As the oil price has now fallen back, we should hopefully reach the peak and start to see prices going the other way to reflect the big drop in wholesale costs seen at the end of last week, subject to no further spikes in the barrel price this week.’

AA fuel price spokesman Luke Bosdet said the 10.6p per litre slump in wholesale costs last week produced ‘bizarre price anomalies’.

He explained: ‘In one town this weekend, filling a tank at one forecourt was more than a pound cheaper than directly across the road at another.

‘They normally match each other but the petrol station resupplied earlier in the week at the much higher price was nearly deserted while its neighbour had a small queue.

‘Unless the price of oil takes off again this week, the AA expects these wild pump prices to stabilise this week and even fall back at fuel stations that were supplied at peak prices but will eventually get cheaper deliveries.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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