Middle East tension hits motorists
The Petrol Retailers' Association (PRA), representing the UK’s independent forecourt retailers, has warned that fuel prices are set to rise as conflict in the Middle East continues. The ongoing geo-political tensions have prompted speculation by traders which has in turn forced the price of Brent Crude oil to a six month high of US$115.65/barrel.
As the Syrian unrest provokes possible military action by the Western Powers, tensions across the Middle East escalate to new levels of danger. Not only Syria but continuing difficulties in Egypt, threats from Iran, domestic disorder in Libya all combine to make the essential oil sources for much of Europe look increasingly at risk.
Brian Madderson, PRA Chairman, commented “The PRA forecast the crude oil rise nearly 10 days ago. As expected this is a grim outlook for retailers, businesses and motorists across the UK. Since the 8 August the Platts based wholesale cost of petrol and diesel has risen by 3pence per litre (ppl) and it is likely that there are further price rises ahead.
“Independent retailers buying on a daily basis have no alternative but to increase prices at the pump as most have no lucrative alternative business streams with which to subsidise fast rising fuel costs. The 5ppl increase at the pump that the PRA predicted may now happen sooner as uncertainty continues to grip the entire Middle East. The only positive is that Pound Sterling has remained firm against US Dollar so UK fuel prices are currently not affected by poor conversion rates.
“The PRA urge the Chancellor to temporarily reduce fuel duty as an immediate measure to prevent the UK’s fragile economic recovery from stalling. After all, at these higher prices the Treasury is benefitting from extra VAT at 20 per cent.”