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Petrol prices rise for first time since July

A cooling in the oil price war between the US and China led to the cost of a barrel of oil increasing by nearly three US dollars, the RAC said.

A four-month dip in petrol prices has been halted by a surge in the cost of oil (Lewis Whyld/PA)
A four-month dip in petrol prices has been halted by a surge in the cost of oil (Lewis Whyld/PA)

By Neil Lancefield, PA Transport Correspondent

A four-month dip in petrol prices has been halted by a surge in the cost of oil, new figures show.

The average price of a litre of petrol rose by nearly a quarter of 1p in December to 126.1p, the RAC said.

This was the first monthly increase since July.

A cooling in the oil price war between the US and China led to the cost of a barrel of oil increasing by nearly three US dollars to 67 US dollars.

As it stands, we can’t see any reason for prices to come down significantly RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams

Supermarkets were quick to react to the rise in wholesale costs, putting up their forecourt prices just two weeks after headline-grabbing price cuts.

Asda reduced its petrol price to 117.7 per litre on December 13, but raised them to 120.3p by December 29.

Drivers of diesel cars were also hit by a price rise last month, with the average cost of a litre of the fuel increasing by 0.8p to 130.6p.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “While there was some positive news for drivers in December with an overdue fuel price cut from the supermarkets mid-month, after Christmas things unfortunately took a turn for the worse when oil began to go up as a result of the US’s trade war with China cooling down.

“This situation very clearly demonstrated the fact that UK drivers are at the mercy of global oil production issues when it comes to filling up.”

Mr Williams warned “it is difficult to see” 2020 being a good year for drivers in terms of fuel prices.

“As it stands, we can’t see any reason for prices to come down significantly,” he said.

“Sadly, it seems more likely that there will be slight increases to contend with, unless of course there is a substantial jump in the value of the pound against the dollar or an unexpected drop in demand for oil.”

PA

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