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Coronavirus: NI petrol prices fall below £1 as lockdown keeps drivers at home


Fuel prices displayed at a petrol station in Londonderry

Fuel prices displayed at a petrol station in Londonderry

Fuel prices displayed at a petrol station in Londonderry

Fuel stations in Northern Ireland are now selling petrol for under £1 a litre as wholesale prices drop lower than they were during the financial crash of 2008.

A Go forecourt near Yorkgate in north Belfast was charging 99.9p a litre, with other retailers expected to follow suit in the coming days.

Motorists in Northern Ireland have seen prices fall so low just once in the past 12 years.

That was in January and February 2016 when average prices fell to 101.8p per litre but supermarkets were charging much less.

The good news for drivers follows predictions from experts that prices would dip beneath £1 a litre in the aftermath of a supermarket price war at the beginning of the week.

The development comes amid a coronavirus lockdown whereby people across the UK have been told to stay at home except in unavoidable circumstances.

Earlier this week Asda chopped up to 12p off per litre of petrol and 8p off the cost of a litre of diesel.

The price of crude oil has continued to slide due to the Covid-19 pandemic with Brent crude changing hands 1% lower at £23.09 a barrel earlier in the week.

The UK lockdown means there are fewer drivers on the road, which in turn means there is less demand for fuel.

Also impacting the cost of fuel is the decision by many countries to enforce "all but essential travel" bans thereby grounding airlines.

Petrol stations in Belfast are believed to be the first in Northern Ireland to drop prices below £1.

Yesterday, at forecourts elsewhere in north Belfast, petrol cost 104.9p per litre at Tesco and 105.9ppl at Maxol.

Usually, it is the major supermarkets that lead the way in driving prices down with independent forecourts following their lead.

During the 2008 financial crash, the AA said it was independent fuel stations that first broke the below the £1 litre mark.

Belfast Telegraph