Belfast Telegraph

Bank Holiday weekend fuel price war at Northern Ireland supermarkets

By Claire McNeilly

A Bank Holiday weekend fuel price war has kicked off as petrol and diesel prices were cut further amid supermarket competition.

The AA said the latest reductions were down to a fall in wholesale costs and a stronger pound.

As the move coincides with Monday’s holiday, fuel retailers are expecting to see motorists filling their tanks ahead of family days out. Asda capped unleaded at 129.7p a litre and diesel at 134.7p, while Sainsbury's and Tesco said prices would reduce by 2p a litre.

The news will be a welcome respite for Northern Ireland’s hard-pressed drivers who traditionally pay more than their UK counterparts for fuel. But despite the cut in price, costs are still higher at the start of the year.

The AA's head of public affairs, Paul Watters, warned that lower prices may not be here for good.

“The current supermarket price war comes on the back of Wednesday's $40-a-tonne fall in petrol wholesale prices across Europe – equivalent, with VAT, to a 2.5p-a-litre fall at the pump,” Mr Watters said. “Two days of commodity price falls doesn't signal the end of drivers' pump misery.

“If this trend continues, that would be a good start to the summer season but no-one should under-estimate the market's ability to send prices shooting up again, often on pure speculation.”

SDLP MLA Patsy McGlone, chair of the Enterprise Committee at Stormont, welcomed the cuts, but said they didn’t go far enough.

“It’s a good thing that the supermarkets appear to be focusing a bit more on the needs of their customers,” said Mr McGlone.


NI average petrol prices

April: 137.8p

March:  141.1p

February:  138.7p

January:  133.2p

UK average petrol prices

April: 136.9p

March: 139.9p

February: 137.9p

January: 132.1p

NI average diesel prices

April: 142.8p

March: 146.7p

February: 145.2p

January: 140.6p

UK average diesel prices

April:  141.8p

March:  146.4p

February:  144.8p

January:  139.8p


Source: The AA

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