Market News

UK Motoring Giants Say Supermarkets Are Inflating Petrol Prices - BLOOMBERG

JULY 21, 2022

(Bloomberg) -- UK motoring groups representing 40% of the population turned up the heat on the country’s supermarkets, saying they are keeping the price of petrol and diesel at the pump too high.

The AA, which has 14 million members, and the RAC with 12.7 million, both said smaller, independently owned petrol stations are more likely to offer fair prices than major retailers.

“It is now clear that many small fuel stations are no longer prepared to go along with the artificially high pump prices of supermarkets and bigger oil-company-supplied sites,” the AA said.

Soaring petrol and diesel prices are part of an inflationary spiral in the UK that’s become a cost-of-living crisis for many. While oil prices on the international market are largely holding at about $100 a barrel, that’s been compounded by a global bottleneck in the capacity of oil refineries to make fuels.

The RAC has been a vocal critic of supermarkets for weeks now, arguing they have failed to pass on declines in wholesale fuel costs to motorists.

“Retailers understand the cost pressures facing motorists and will do everything they can to offer the best value-for-money across petrol and diesel forecourts, passing on cost reductions as they feed through the supply chain,” said Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority said July 8 that there have been recent signs that the “retailer spread” -- the gap between what they pay wholesale and what they charge motorists -- has stayed elevated in recent times. 

That spread is likely to reflect the fact that pump prices are generally less volatile than wholesale ones. That means retail prices tend to adjust more slowly, and over longer periods, to sudden increases or decreases in the wholesale market.

The RAC said big supermarkets in particular need to do more though.

“Drivers who fill up at supermarket forecourts have every right to feel let down that they are being charged well over the odds for petrol and diesel right now,” Simon Williams, a fuel spokesman for the RAC said.


This website uses cookies We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you've provided to them or that they've collected from your use of their services
Real Time Analytics