Filling your tank costs more than it has done all year.
Speculators are keeping back supplies to bump up prices, says the AAFuel prices are set to edge above 110p per litre of petrol and 112p for diesel before Christmas and the outlook is bleak for 2010, when the increase in VAT to 17.5% will add a further 3p per litre to pump prices – to say nothing of an outlook where prices are set to rise still further.
Prices are now at their highest since September 2008 and sit at 26% above where they were at the start of 2009. The last time fuel prices hit an all-time high, in July 2008, world wholesale prices for oil had peaked at close to $150 per barrel. Then a litre of petrol cost 119.5p while diesel was 133.1p. Currently, a barrel of oil is valued at $78.2, a price which dsn’t justify what retailers charge. Instead, industry experts say speculators are stockpiling oil to bump up the prices.
Luke Bosdet of the AA said there were ‘massive surpluses of oil’. It is the speculators and the Government (through high fuel duty) are keeping prices at their current levels. ‘To the average driver, this is madness. Why are prices in an oil glut not falling rather than soaring to levels never seen before at this time of year?’ The extent of speculation is beginning to concern oil producers. OPEC has said that if stockpiling continues it will increase supply and so reduce wholesale prices. This would, in the long-term, reduce prices at the pump.