At the start of August, I commented that the outlook for fuel prices was uncertain. But the tragic events of Storm Harvey soon brought an end to that uncertainty.
According to the latest RAC Fuel Watch Report, the price of petrol began to climb soon after Harvey hit the US Gulf Coast on 25 August. The storm forced several of the largest fuel refineries in North America to shut down their operations, disrupting fuel supplies across the continent.
Crude oil prices showed modest gains, and by 31 August, the UK wholesale price of unleaded petrol had risen by 4p per litre. UK garage forecourt prices have now risen by an average of about 2p per litre, but the RAC believes further increases are quite likely:
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams: “Sadly, fuel prices went up for the second consecutive month in August, but the 2p a litre increase is unfortunately just the tip of the iceberg as motorists are likely to see further forecourt rises in the next week as a result of the disruption to oil refiners in Texas.”
Interestingly, RAC data showed that the average price of supermarket petrol and diesel rose by more than the average in August. Supermarket diesel rose by 2.49p per litre to an average of 114.53p, while diesel rose by 2.64p per litre to an average of 115.17p.
RAC’s Fuel Watch dashboard suggests that petrol prices are likely to rise again over the next fortnight, as the US imports additional supplies to make up for the shortfall caused by refinery outages.
There’s better news for diesel drivers, however. The RAC’s modelling suggests that diesel prices are likely to stay flat over the next couple of weeks.
And of course, if you’re searching for the cheapest petrol or diesel in your area, don’t forget to take a look at our Fuel Prices page for the latest prices.