A switch in market conditions means you could soon pay less for diesel than unleaded.

Diesel could soon become cheaper than petrol, for the first time in almost a decade.

Supermarket chain Asda is currently charging the same for either fuel – between 99.9p and 100.9p, depending on location – at 80 of its outlets. And the firm predicts that soon diesel will be the cheaper fuel. Wholesale prices are now cheaper for diesel – because demand from the United States for unleaded is rising.

At the same time, the global recession has meant that demand for diesel to fuel lorries has slipped so far that there is actually a surplus.

Although diesel has for years been the dearer of the two fuels, it actually needs less refining than unleaded petrol – so is cheaper to produce.

Fuel prices are rising from the lows they saw during the early part of the year. However, they remain thankfully some way off the record prices achieved a year ago, when unleaded topped 120p per litre and diesel ran as high as 132p. While wholesale prices have risen, the Automobile Association has said that investment banks speculating on future oil costs are partly to blame for increased prices at the pumps.

Stephen Jury


June 18, 2009

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