Motorists are in line for savings after the price of diesel at UK pumps fell to its lowest level since just after Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Diesel averaged 169.89 pence per litre as of Tuesday, shaving more than £16 off the cost of filling up a 55-litre car compared to July 2 2022 when the price per litre hit a record 199.21p.
Wholesale diesel prices leapt following the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine in February amid concerns about disruption to supplies as Russia is a major exporter of the fuel.
However, they have started to cool with Russian supplies still getting into the market, and other sources opening up to Europe.
Simon Williams, fuel spokesman at the RAC, said: “This is good news for drivers of diesel vehicles as they have had to endure some tough times with the average price of a litre nearly hitting £2 at the end of June.”
He said if retailers “play fair” with drivers, the price at the pumps should fall further given the relatively low wholesale prices, which are currently about 52.07p in the UK.
The price at the pump is made up of the wholesale price, delivery, fuel duty, VAT at 20pc, biofuel and margin for the retailer.
The last time diesel was under 170p was on March 9 2022, when it was 167.37p per litre.
Steve Sawyer, director of refining at Facts Global Energy, said: “Prices [wholesale] have been supported for some time due to fears supply from Russia will be severely disrupted, and demand growth from China.
“They’ve started to come down in the last couple of weeks, as a lot of those fears around the impact of sanctions [on Russia] ebbed away.” Demand also falls as spring emerges, as there is less need for heating oil.
But he cautioned markets are “in for a period of volatility” amid restrictions in Russian flows, and depending on the extent to which Chinese demand grows.
The UK has banned imports of Russian diesel and crude oil since December 2022.
The EU’s embargo of Russian oil products came into effect on February 5. Data reported by Reuters indicates large amounts of refined Russian products are being shipped to Asia.
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