Vehicles: Fuels

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 7th September 2020.

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Photo of Greg Knight Greg Knight Conservative, East Yorkshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the average (a) wholesale and (b) retail margin of profit on sales of vehicle fuels since the covid-19 outbreak; what steps he is taking to ensure that the price paid for vehicle fuels is not kept artificially high; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Kwasi Kwarteng Kwasi Kwarteng The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

The Government monitors the national average retail prices of fuels. These are published at: www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/oil-and-petroleum-products-weekly-statistics.

BEIS analysis shows that changes in the global price of crude oil is the primary driver of movements in the national average retail prices of fuels such as petrol and diesel. Other factors include currency exchange rates and the balance of supply and demand for these fuels in the wholesale petroleum products markets. Changes in the price of crude oil feed through to retail prices over the course of about 6 weeks. Since March, retail prices have broadly moved in line with movements in crude oil and wholesale product prices – falling initially as crude oil prices fell and then rising as oil prices recovered through June and July.

The UK has some of the lowest pre-tax prices in Europe for both petrol and diesel, and our evidence suggests that the?UK road fuels sector as a whole is competitive and ensures that consumers get a fair deal.

The Government believe that a competitive market is the best way to keep prices low. Retail fuel markets are subject to UK competition law under the Competition and Markets Authority.

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