Fuel £11 more expensive than a year ago, but prices stabilise in February
The price of petrol and
diesel has stabilised after two months of rises at the pumps, according
Fuel Watch data.
Unleaded petrol finished the month costing an average 120.23p
a litre, a very slight increase on the figure of 120.05p seen on February 1,
and diesel at 122.25p, having started at 122.31p. However, fuel is still at its
highest price since December 2014.
The stability has been brought about by the fact the two
key price-determining factors - the price of oil and the sterling/dollar exchange
rate - have both steadied, keeping wholesale prices in check, said RAC. A
barrel of oil averaged $55 throughout the month and the pound was worth on
However, it now costs £66.13 to fill up an average
55-litre family car with petrol compared to £55.91 a year ago when the average
price nationally was 101.65p. A tank of diesel is now £67.27 compared to £55.72
12 months ago when a litre averaged 101.31p.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “While the price
of oil has shot up by $10 since the end of November when many oil producing
countries agreed to curb production it appears to have settled around the $55
mark which will be a relief to motorists who no doubt felt forecourt prices
were constantly heading in the wrong direction. Filling up an average car is
sadly now £11 more expensive than a year ago.”
However, the oil production cut, which is the first in
eight years, is even more significant because it was brought about by the Organisation of Petroleum
Exporting Countries (OPEC) making an agreement with 11 other oil
producing countries to limit production by a total of 1.8 million barrels a day
globally with a view to getting the barrel price to increase.
Mr Williams added: “The agreement between OPEC and
non-member countries seems to be holding firm for the time being which is not
good news for motorists. For prices at the pumps to come down again we would
need the oil price to reduce and the pound to make up some of its lost ground
on the dollar.
“So a month where fuel prices have stayed broadly the
same is welcome news. Given the global oil production situation and the weaker
pound all we can really hope for at the moment is some continued price
stability on the forecourt.”