UK petrol prices predicted to hit record high over fuel crisis

2021-10-21 17:14:35
UK petrol prices predicted to hit record high over fuel crisis

Britain is still grappling with a full blown crisis as labor shortages, particularly a critical shortage of truck drivers, have disrupted supply chain activities and caused a shortage of fuel and food items across the country.

As a result, the country witnessed panic buying of fuel and some goods dwindled. These events triggered chaotic scenes across major cities, leading to long lines at gas stations and fistfights among drivers.

Many factories and businesses are struggling with rising energy bills and are on the verge of halting production and closing down unless the government acts immediately in the face of sky rocketing fuel prices.

Motorists will be paying more than ever to fill up the tank by the end of October, according to petrol station owners, prompting a row over the cause of sky-high prices at the pumps.

The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) predicted all-time highs set in April 2012 – of 142p per litre for petrol and 148p for diesel – would be surpassed by the end of October.

Average prices had hit 141.35p and 144.84p respectively by Tuesday, according to Experian Catalist UK.

Forecourt prices have risen sharply over the past month, during which a driver shortage caused supply problems leading to panic-buying that resulted in filling stations across the country running out of fuel.

Average petrol prices were 134.9p per litre in September, compared with 113.3p per litre in the same month a year earlier, according to the latest Office for National Statistics inflation figures published on Wednesday.

Brian Madderson, the chair of the forecourt owners’ trade body, told the Guardian the primary reason for increased costs in the UK was the rise of global oil prices, which has doubled within 12 months, hitting a three-year high of $85 for Brent crude this week.

The PRA attributed this to the Opec group of oil-rich countries and Russian cutting back on production, just as a global economic rebound from Covid-19 stokes greater demand for fuel.

Motorists’ organisations acknowledged the effect of global oil markets but said petrol station owners were also using it as an excuse to hide their own role.

The RAC fuel spokesperson, Simon Williams, said fuel prices appeared to be on an “unavoidable journey” to record highs.

He said the oil price was “primarily” behind the extra costs for motorists but accused petrol retailers of “taking a bigger cut on petrol than they normally do at around 8p a litre which is a further blow to drivers”.

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