Fuel prices set to rise despite further falls in May

Drivers should brace for a rise in fuel prices despite continued falls in May, new data suggests.

That’s according to RAC Fuel Watch, which found that the average price of a litre of unleaded fuel fell below 106p in May – the first time that the price has dropped to this level in more than four years.

In fact, as lockdown measures were eased, the cost of refilling a 55-litre family car with petrol dropped by £1 to £58.20 on average as fuel costs fell by more than 3p, from 108.95p per litre at the start of May to 105.81p towards the end of the month.

Diesel also fell, dropping from 114.54p to 111.23p in the same time scale.

However, this fall in price isn’t set to continue, with the RAC citing a rebound in the world price of oil – up by $15.59 in the month of May to $34.44 a barrel – which saw the cost of wholesale petrol rise by seven pence and diesel up 4.5p. The wholesale rises could translate into a hike in fuel prices.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “There’s no doubting that, as the lockdown is eased slightly in different parts of the UK and drivers begin to travel more often, it’s currently cheaper to fill up now than it has been since 2016.

“How long these lower pump prices remain for however is debatable and is largely dependent on events taking place thousands of miles away from the UK. The impact of the coronavirus on world travel and economic activity has dramatically reduced the global demand for oil, which is forcing major oil producing nations such as Saudi Arabia and Russia to desperately agree production cuts to shore up the barrel price.

“How far they go with these cuts, and how quickly, will be crucial in determining what happens with prices at the pumps over the next few months. Last month, as we expected, the oil price began to creep back up. If this continues in June, a rise in the cost of filling up is almost inevitable.”

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