Fuel prices set to rise in June after record-breaking reductions

Drivers are being warned to expect price rises at the pumps in coming weeks as fuel retailers react to rising global oil prices.

May saw some of the lowest fuel costs around the UK for more than four years as supermarkets slashed their prices to below £1 a litre for petrol but the RAC has warned that charges are likely to start creeping up in June.

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The average price of a litre of petrol fell by 3p per litre during May, according to RAC Fuel Watch data, taking it down to 106p - the lowest it has been in more than four years.

Morrisons, Tesco and Asda all went further and committed to charging no more than 99.9p per litre for unleaded at more than 1,200 forecourts, the first time since February 2016 that is has been so cheap.

Diesel also fell an average of 3p per litre to 111p, with the supermarkets capping diesel at no more than 105.9p.

The cuts came after oil prices around the world collapsed in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

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However the RAC’s fuel spokesman Simon Williams warned that such low prices might not be around for much longer as wholesale oil prices begin to recover. These rose 83 per cent to $34.44 a barrel at the end of May, leading to a 7p per litre jump in the wholesale petrol prices, with diesel up 4.5p.

Mr 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.

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“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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“Of course drivers still need to be careful about the trips they’re making. For now though, drivers should fill up when they can to benefit from what are the lowest prices for four years. While the impact of the coronavirus is set to be with us for a long while yet, we don’t expect such low pump prices to be.”