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April may bring lower pump prices, says RAC

The coming weeks could bring lower pump prices for fleets thanks to the possibility of an oil price reduction.

Fuel prices remained static in March despite rises in wholesale costs.

Fuel prices remained static in March despite rises in wholesale costs.

So says the RAC as it publishes latest data showing the average price of petrol and diesel at UK forecourts stayed the same throughout March despite a rise in the wholesale cost of both fuels.

Last month saw the price of oil go up 5% from $63.98 at the start of March to $67.23 by the end of the month. And while sterling gained on the dollar very slightly with a pound being worth $1.40 – up from $1.37 at the close of March – the wholesale price of petrol went up nearly 4p a litre and diesel by almost 2.5p a litre.

Yet, a litre of unleaded now costs 120.11p (0.06p increase) and diesel 122.82p (0.01p increase), with retailers not having passed on the increased costs, perhaps as they had been benefiting from lower wholesale costs for several weeks before, according to the RAC.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams added: “Looking ahead there is a glimmer of hope that motorists may be about to benefit from some cheaper forecourt prices in April. At a global level there is much going on which may lead to a drop in the oil price: the developing trade friction between the US and China, increased oil production from fracking in the US and rising oil supply despite OPEC’s ongoing attempts to curb output. Each of these factors has the potential to cause the oil price to fall which would almost certainly bring pump prices down.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.