PUMP PRICES: ‘Perfect storm’ to blame for sharp rise in fuel costs

TJ Hughes

BREXIT, snow in southern Europe and even the rise of the far right are all contributing to the rise of fuel prices in Fermanagh, according to one local service station owner.
The price of petrol and diesel in the UK has risen to it’s highest price in 18 months, and could rise even further in the coming weeks, depending on the outcome of a Supreme Court ruling on Brexit later this month.
Terry Hughes, of TJ Hughes Service Station in Belleek, said fuel prices had “been hit by a perfect storm” of several factors.
“One is the fact the dollar is so strong, which is down to the fact the US economy is going fairly strong, and because there is so much doubt over the Euro and the Sterling,” he said, explaining the rise of the far right was putting pressure on the Eurozone.
Mr Hughes added Theresa May’s interview with Sky News last weekend, in which she hinted that the UK may leave the European single market, had “spooked the market” and contributed to a rise in Sterling which was also hitting pump prices.
“That put the fear of God into the markets, and people are now seeing oil prices sitting at around $50 or $60 a barrel,” said Mr Hughes, explaining that oil was priced in dollars.
Mr Hughes added another factor driving up prices was the demand for home heating oil in Europe, where places such as Greece and Italy, where they are currently unprecedented low temperatures and snow falls.
Another issue affecting the price was the fact OPEC had announced production cuts, in order to drive up prices, said Mr Hughes.
The good news is Mr Hughes said he doubted we would ever see a return to the $100 a barrel situation of years passed, mainly due to the growth of fracking in the US and the fact America is now importing significantly less oil due to their own self-sufficiency.
At TJ Hughes yesterday, fuel prices were €1.29.9/£1.11.9 for diesel, and €137.9/£1.17.9 for petrol.

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