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Eddie Mair | 15:32 UK time, Wednesday, 17 September 2008

petrola.JPGWe'll discuss this tonight. PA reports: "Falls in the world price of oil have not been reflected at petrol pumps, the AA said today. Average UK petrol prices have barely fallen in a month despite oil prices going back down under the 100 US dollars a barrel mark, according to the latest AA fuel price report."

Petrol prices across the UK fell by just one quarter of a penny over the past
month, from 113.15p a litre in mid-August to 112.88p in mid-September.
The average price of diesel dropped 1.32p a litre, from 125.58p to 124.26p -
closing the price gap between petrol and diesel to 11.38p
The AA said it anticipated a drop of 4p a litre for petrol and 6p for diesel in
coming weeks.
Across half the UK, including Scotland, northern England, Wales and south west
England, the average price of petrol went down by a mere tenth of a penny in the
period mid-July to mid-August.
Wide variations between regional prices remained, with petrol in London - the
most expensive area - costing nearly 2p a litre more than in Yorkshire,
Humberside and north west England.
AA president Edmund King said: "Hurricane Ike's failure to damage oil
infrastructure in the US and falling demand for petrol has sent oil crashing
under the 100-dollar mark. With US wholesale petrol prices also falling, we
expect UK pump prices to fall sooner rather than later - and significantly.
"The country has already had a taste of falling wholesale prices not being
passed on quickly enough to beleaguered UK consumers this summer. We hope that
it is not just one supermarket playing it straight with car-owning customers
this time.""


  • 1. At 3:43pm on 17 Sep 2008, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    And this is surprising why, exactly?

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  • 2. At 3:43pm on 17 Sep 2008, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    Look on the bright side - at least the Government is not mandating that Tesco petrol stations 'take over' JET and Texaco garages to help 'improve stability' under the noses of the Competition Commission...

    Well, not yet, anyway...

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  • 3. At 4:08pm on 17 Sep 2008, DI_Wyman wrote:

    Falls about laughing...PA reports: "Falls in the world price of oil have not been reflected at petrol pumps....

    This PA peep, is he a stand up comedian?

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  • 4. At 4:32pm on 17 Sep 2008, mygloriousleader wrote:

    Yes but on the bright side we have had a period of petrol price stability...

    That is a period of stability before the whole country goes to the dogs, courtesy of invisible Gordy...

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  • 5. At 4:32pm on 17 Sep 2008, rab_2004 wrote:

    Lower the price and cut profits. I can't see that happening anytime soon...

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  • 6. At 4:51pm on 17 Sep 2008, Wonko wrote:

    I have to concur with the others posting here (at least those whose comments appear at time of writing). This news is hardly surprising is it?

    Oil companies exist to make a profit, they're not a charity, nor are they a social service. They will always charge what they feel the market will stand, unless as seems to be the case, they are in a cartel. In which case they will charge whatever they like as long as their competitors charge roughly the same. Now they will argue that they make very little profit (if any) from forecourt sales. I can neither confirm nor deny this. However, when such companies make such vast profits one has to ask where it's coming from?

    The problem is as long as Western society is so heavily reliant on the internal combustion motor, they (forgive the pun) have us over a barrel. I'm not suggesting we all need to abandon our cars overnight and return to the sixteenth century, but we do need to find suitable, sustainable alternatives. of course, that's a whole other debate...

    ;o) []

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  • 7. At 4:53pm on 17 Sep 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    Chris (1): Agreed. Wholeheartedly.

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  • 8. At 5:00pm on 17 Sep 2008, mygloriousleader wrote:

    (6) Woko.
    I wonder what would happen if we did abandon (mostly) the car / van. There would not be the great food swap where food is grown in this country is exported and roughly the same food is imported. We would also stop this ridiculous thing of people driving vast distances to sit in an office operating a computer connected to the internet, all of which could be done in local hot desk offices without the travel and with ineraction using video conferencing. Similarly people driving vast distances at the weekends 'to visit' could also be achieved with video links. Much more food could be moved by rail overnight as the railways are virtually empty.
    I wonder..

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  • 9. At 5:11pm on 17 Sep 2008, Nigel_N wrote:

    As part of the last budget, our chancellor made it part of government policy that large-car owners should be made to pay for their polution through their road tax. High fuel prices are only an extension of this policy and are therefore supported by the government, who would object if prices were to fall as this would give out the wrong message.

    (That's right isn't it Gordon?)

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  • 10. At 5:12pm on 17 Sep 2008, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    One of the things I continue to find annoying about petrol/diesel pricing is that it goes

    fuel at the pump, price x
    fuel excise duty on that fuel, price y
    VAT on the total price of fuel *plus* f.e.d., price z

    so that everyone who uses a car pays tax on the fuel twice unless they can claim back the VAT.

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  • 11. At 5:22pm on 17 Sep 2008, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    Did sequin just refer to Lembit's romance with a 'cheeky girl'.. ?

    Keep up, sweetie, keep up !

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  • 12. At 5:29pm on 17 Sep 2008, Thunderbird wrote:

    Remember that as soon as the petrol companies drop their prices Mr Darling will put on his 2p that was delayed from the budget

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  • 13. At 5:49pm on 17 Sep 2008, Wonko wrote:

    Mygloriousleader - to a great extent, I agree with you. I'm one of those people who has 3 to 4 hours of my life stolen every work day commuting. Unfortunately, for the business I'm in and in order to earn the salary necessary to pay the bills, I have no choice. There are simply no jobs in my local area that would use my skills effectively AND pay enough. Alas, I also need to be 'on site' because of the kind of work I do - so distance working isn't possible. I have worked from home in the past (for just over a year), and it worked well for both me and my employer. I'm sure there are a great many people who could work from home, it's largely a question of our managers learning to trust their staff and finding effective ways to distance manage them.

    It's a bit of a chicken and egg situation too. Business tends to congregate in urban areas where the workers are, this pushes demand for housing up, which pushes up prices, meaning that fewer can afford to live near where they work, meaning they move to where they can afford to live and commute, thus spreading out, making it less likely that a business will set up there because there isn't the density of suitable workers in the area, and insufficient transport links to get them all there! This is, of course, a much simplified model.

    Where I disagree with you is on the subject of "seeing" people, friends, relatives, etc. Technology is great, and it's expanded many peoples' horizons, enabled connections to be made between people who would never otherwise meet. But, it's no substitute for the real thing, interacting face to face. An obvious example is the increasing overuse of e-mail in business. I see people - day in, day out - using e-mail over the course of a day having a conversation with someone they could easily have walked over to and spoken with, reaching a conclusion in a few minutes. Now you could argue that's down to poor training, management, or just plain laziness, the point is, it's bad.

    ;o) []

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  • 14. At 6:12pm on 17 Sep 2008, fairyfivey wrote:

    just a note on the "out of time pips" this morning in connection with the big bang experiment, my husband came home from work last wednesday night and said has sent an email that day and had recieved a reply which he noticed in in his box with a date which was before the sent date . Just to clarify he sent it on the the 10th and received the reply with the date of the 9th. did the experiment have anything to do with this i wonder??

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  • 15. At 6:15pm on 17 Sep 2008, pgtk459 wrote:

    It doesn't take a genius to recognise the reason the reason for the turmoil in the fuel and financial sectors, it all stems down to greed, the greed of the speculators who drove up the price of oil in the first place, this has had a knock on effect causing the rises in inflation and the rises in food prices, greed has also been the cause of the problems with the banks and finance institutions both in the UK and overseas, short selling, naked short selling, the people in these industries are now crying into their champagne cocktails because they are losing their jobs, if they hadn't been chasing huge salaries and bonuses, they wouldn't be in this situation.

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  • 16. At 6:25pm on 17 Sep 2008, pgtk459 wrote:

    With regard to petrol prices I would like to draw attention to a feature in BBC 2's Top Gear program, (series before last) where James May demonstrated new technology developed by General Motors, the car featured had a fuel cell under the floor, apparently it had the capacity to suppl several houses with electricity but in the concept of the car, it would enable a vehicle to travel vast distances at high speed without having to fuel up, perhaps governments should look into this even though it would mean a massive loss in tax revenue if the technology was adopted and made widespread but then think about it, they wouldn't get the taxes but then we wouldn,t have the pollution either.

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  • 17. At 6:33pm on 17 Sep 2008, Stewart_M wrote:

    Can I have two tank of diesel and a ferry crossing paid for so I can go and re-photograph the petrol sign I photographed in June?

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  • 18. At 6:40pm on 17 Sep 2008, Fifi wrote:

    "When the pound is strong, oil prices go up."


    "When the pound is weak, oil prices go.... up."


    I've heard gobbledygook talked in my time. But this one took the jammy dodger and no mistake.

    But then, we're all idiots, aren't we.

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  • 19. At 7:12pm on 17 Sep 2008, Beckham457 wrote:

    I listened with disgust this evening at the representative of the fuel retal companies talking about the value of the pound affecting fuel prices and stopping them falling. I can remember a while ago commenting that fuel prices were rising while the pound climbed to $2. How come the strong pound didn't keep petrol prices low?
    The truth is that these companies along with the Gas and Electricity companies who claimed that fuel price hikes were related to oil prices, are all robbing ..... I had best not use the names I would like to call them.
    As for our useless moronic government which I have no dobt is in collusion with these thieves just as all politicians would be.
    This can only go on so long before the ordinary people of this great country of ours start taking matters into their own hands with strikes and general civil disobedience. Let's face it, the French, Americans and Russians have all had their revolutions. Maybe it's time for us to have ours.

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  • 20. At 7:58pm on 17 Sep 2008, mittfh wrote:

    I'm the kind of sad nutter who keeps details of his fuel spending (and thereby fuel economy) in a spreadsheet...

    Here's my figures from the month end fill-ups (ppl = pence per litre)
    End of April - 109.9ppl
    End of May - 112.9ppl
    End of June - 115.9ppl
    10th July - 119.9ppl
    End of July - 113.9ppl
    End of August - 109.9ppl
    Now - 109.9ppl

    All from the place that claims that "Every little helps".

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  • 21. At 8:15pm on 17 Sep 2008, mittfh wrote:

    Meanwhile, for comparison, the sheet I kept from April 2002 to April 2007 (before not updating it for a year - yikes!)

    April 2002 - 78.8ppl. In June, it fell to 73.9ppl and stayed there until November. September 2003 - 75.5 until Feb 2004, when it rose to reach 79.9 in April. It then remained at 79.9 until September, then danced around a bit, gradually getting higher until 95.9 in April 2006. It then fell back to 83.9 in October, rising steadily from then to 90.9 in April 2007. If only I'd kept my fuel receipts for April 2007 - April 2008!

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  • 22. At 9:02pm on 17 Sep 2008, farmerobin wrote:

    I agree with Wonko but would also like to make the point that something like 60% of the fuel price is tax so HM Govt. could very simply cut pump prices by taking a lesser cut [the fuel companies, who do all the work, make a relatively small amount] oh, & I forgot [Govt.] VAT on top, silly me.

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  • 23. At 11:11pm on 17 Sep 2008, Thunderbird wrote:

    Basically what you all are saying is that petrol and energy companies are thieving gits.

    Pound up, pound down, we are going to pay more it’s just the way it is.

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  • 24. At 11:23pm on 17 Sep 2008, 5pmlistener wrote:

    5pmlistener - Re discussion on petrol prices. I have never heard so much tosh as spoken by the guy from the Petrol Retailers assoc.

    What he should be saying my members are raking in the extra profits from Joe Public thank you very much. More than a fient whiff of BS

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  • 25. At 11:28pm on 17 Sep 2008, 5pmlistener wrote:

    5pmlistener - Re the discussion on Petrol prices. I have never heard so much tosh as that spoken by the guy from the Petrol Retailers assoc.

    What he should have been saying is:-
    thank you very much for the extra profits my members are raking in from Joe Public, thank you very much.

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  • 26. At 11:37pm on 17 Sep 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    T'bird: I think Robert Peston should watch his back. With analysts like you around, you'd get my vote ;o)

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  • 27. At 03:27am on 18 Sep 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    I'm puzzled. Brits screamed for Kyoto, promised they would cut back on CO2 emissions, would use public transportation instead of their own cars, ride bicycles, walk, and would make a sacrifice for the environment. Then they went out and criticized Americans for not agreeing to do the same. You got what you wanted. In fact your government is demanding that the next round of cuts be 20%, 30% even 60% instead of the 8% of Kyoto. Isn't this what you wanted and promised, sacrifice? Aren't you going to turn down the temperature in your homes 5 or 10 degrees this winter too?

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  • 28. At 09:31am on 18 Sep 2008, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    MAII @ 27, my objection is not to cutting back on my use of fuel -- I am unsure how some people are supposed to manage that without freezing to death, but hey, old folks dying of hypothermia is nothing new, why should anybody get upset about that? -- it is to a few very rich people making obscene profits from the oil/fuel when they are no longer paying so much per barrel, which was their excuse for screwing more money out of us.

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  • 29. At 10:11am on 18 Sep 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    "it is to a few very rich people making obscene profits from the oil/fuel when they are no longer paying so much per barrel, which was their excuse for screwing more money out of us."
    Haven't you realised that the high prices per barrel are all in the "futures" market, where nothing actually changes hands? We haven't got to"the future" yet, but it's wonderful!
    "The Future is where we'll all be fulfilled, happy, healthy, and perhaps will live and consume forever. It may have some bad things in it, like storms or floods or earthquakes or plagues or volcanic eruptions or stray meteors, but soon we will learn to predict and prevent such things before they happen. In the Future, many scientists will be employed in figuring out how to prevent the unpredictable consequences of the remaining unpreventable bad things. There will always be work for scientists."
    A toast to the Future!

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  • 30. At 2:05pm on 18 Sep 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:


    Considering that the UK's population is projected to rise significantly (mostly through immigration) in the same period that its CO2 emissions are supposed to be reduced significantly, short of radically new technology, the sacrifices made so far due to higher prices are hardly the beginning of what will happen if the UK is to meet its promised goals.

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  • 31. At 3:05pm on 18 Sep 2008, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Now if I were talking about the 'sacrifices', MAII @ 30, I might find that more meaningful. I was talking about the profits being made by the people selling this stuff at an inflated rate, not about turning down the heating or riding a bicycle in a 'sacrificial' way.

    Ed I, (ho hris?) I sometimes don't feel that the 'futures' business is an unalloyed good thing. I have a vague feeling that buying 'futures' in say rice, thus causing it to be witheld from the market so that the price rises, might be marginally more moral if it didn't mean that actual people actually starve so that somebody in a nice well-fed stock-market somewhere can make a lot *more* money than s/he already had.

    And actual people die of cold for the benefit of the same pedlers in futures.

    Oh, and MAII, if enough of them die of cold because they can't afford the fuel to heat their bedsits, that will be good for the economy, won't it, because they won't be using up other resources once they have snuffed it. Great economics, shame that it is just a tad nasty for them. But it may slow that population increase, eh, so that is obviously fine.

    (What was that irony emoticon again?)

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  • 32. At 3:29pm on 18 Sep 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    It's a raised eyebrow John Gotti. There is a reason why futures markets are important. I'm not giving an economics lesson here so you will have to research it for yourself. My point is that many green beans feel that fuel, especially gasoline in the US is too cheap and that if the government were to raise taxes on it so that we paid prices comparable to Europe, we'd use less. In other words the higher the price, the lower the consumption.

    Are there too many people in the world? IMO the answer is yes. It's one of the topics the green beans will not discuss when they talk about climate change but any which way you look at it, if we must generate less CO2 with the technology we have and the world's population continues to increase, we will all have to live continuously poorer and poorer lives. But Malthaus was right. Once the US farmer who feeds much of the starving world finds it easier and more profitable to sell his carbon credits to the power companies who burn coal to generate electricity instead of killing himself to produce crops, much of the world will starve to death anyway. So far just a small percent of production has been converted to biofuel and look what has happened to the price of food. It's just the beginning.

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  • 33. At 3:31pm on 18 Sep 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    "buying 'futures' in say rice, thus causing it to be witheld from the market so that the price rises,"
    I may be wrong, but I don't think the existence of any 'futures' contract causes anything to be 'withheld'.

    Futures markets have valid positive uses - to ensure a future supply at a known price. But there is also ample scope for manipulation and other undesirable effects - the same sort of things which have, in general, turned money from a "medium of exchange" into the principal subject of the market.

    I don't have any answers.

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  • 34. At 03:53am on 06 Dec 2008, dennisjunior1 wrote:

    At least, the prices are not over 2.00pounds a litre...

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