Soaring fuel prices blamed on rise in oil refining margins

Drivers have been hit by record fuel prices in recent months.

08 July 2022

Growing oil refining margins are one of the main causes of soaring fuel prices, according to the competition regulator.

A review by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found that the increase from the crude oil price when it enters refineries to the wholesale price when it leaves them as petrol or diesel has more than tripled in the last year, from 10p per litre to nearly 35p per litre.

It stated that retailers’ margins “remained about 10p per litre on average” over the same period.

The CMA also attributed record fuel prices to an increase in the cost of crude oil.

On the issue of whether the 5p per litre reduction in fuel duty introduced in March was passed on to drivers, the regulator said: “On the whole the fuel duty cut appears to have been implemented, with the largest fuel retailers doing so immediately and others more gradually.”

Figures from data firm Experian show the average price of a litre of petrol at UK forecourts on Wednesday was 191.3p, with diesel at 198.8p per litre.

That is an increase of around 60p for petrol and 64p for diesel.

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