RAC urges UK supermarkets to slash petrol prices

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The RAC is urging the UK’s biggest supermarkets to cut the price of petrol by 3 pence a litre, reflecting a recent slide in the price of crude oil.

Brent has slipped from above $70 (£50) a barrel at the end of last month to around $65 on Thursday and the RAC said that Britain’s supermarkets now have the capacity “to cut their pump prices significantly”.

The organisation says that the average pump price for petrol at the nation’s four biggest supermarkets is 119.49 pence. The average diesel price is 122.13 pence for diesel.

“We urge the supermarkets to do the right thing and pass on savings in the wholesale cost of fuel they are currently benefitting from to motorists at the pumps just before half-term,” said RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams.

“The sharp drop in the price of oil gives them a perfect opportunity to reduce their pump prices by 3 pence,” he added.

Mr Williams said supermarkets “constantly use petrol and diesel prices to drive customers into their stores”. He said that the fall in the wholesale fuel price “gives them a great opportunity to turn up the heat in what has become something of a ‘cold pump price war’ in recent weeks”.

“The question is which supermarket will make the first move,” he said.

The RAC said that the recent drop in the price of oil had been triggered by an unexpected increase in fuel stocks across the US. That in turn had sparked fears of oversupply at the beginning of what is traditionally a season of lower demand.

The North Sea Forties pipeline, which was shut down in December because of a crack, has also just reopened, bringing 450,000 barrels of Brent crude oil a day on to the market.