Fuel prices rise as Hurricane Harvey hits production

Fuel prices rise as Hurricane Harvey hits production
Fuel prices rise as Hurricane Harvey hits production

Fuel costs rose again in August, with warnings of more increases on the way as the oil industry feels the effects of Hurricane Harvey.

The average cost of both unleaded petrol and diesel rose by 2p per litre last month, from 115.25p to 117.51p and 116.09p to 118.37p respectively.

According to the latest RAC Fuel Watch report, after Hurricane Harvey hit oil refineries in Texas on August 25 the wholesale price of unleaded rose 4p per litre in six days. The motoring organisation is now warning that the effect of that will be passed on to consumers at the forecourts in coming days.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “Sadly, fuel prices went up for the second consecutive month in August, but the 2p a litre increase is unfortunately just the tip of the iceberg as motorists are likely to see further forecourt rises in the next week as a result of the disruption to oil refiners in Texas.

“While the price of producing petrol tends to be primarily affected by the cost of crude oil and the exchange rate as it’s traded in dollars, it is also affected by global market forces for the refined product itself and we often see the price move up and down according to supply and demand issues. This has been the case since Storm Harvey as petrol is now in shorter supply. It has also been compounded by a drop in the region’s crude oil production.

“Pump prices in the UK will no doubt rise in the coming days and we still expect to see the price of petrol overtake that of diesel, although the wholesale price of diesel is also starting to increase.”

While the big four supermarket fuel retailers are still cheaper than the national average they all pushed up their prices by above average amounts, bringing them closer to other retailers.

Drivers in Wales saw the sharpest rise in petrol prices while rising diesel prices hit motorists in the English north-east hardest. Those in the south-east still pay the most for their fuel, while the average forecourt price in Northern Ireland remains the lowest across the UK.

Based on the RAC’s figures, the cost of filling a typical family car with a 55-litre tank rose by £1.24 to £64.63 for unleaded and by £1.25 to £65.10 for diesel.

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