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Indies at the mercy of volatile wholesale prices after 5.2ppl swing

09 May, 2013

The Petrol Retailers’ Association (PRA) has again voiced its concerns about the unpredictability of the wholesale petrol market.

In the past seven days there has been a drop by more than 2.6ppl, which encouraged supermarkets to rush price reductions onto their forecourts. However by the start of this week, wholesale costs recovered all that reduction, resulting in a swing of more than 5.2ppl over a few days of trading, according to PRA chairman Brian Madderson.

“With the Platts-led market showing such volatility our independent retailers are finding it difficult to keep track of cost changes and plan their businesses," he claimed.

The PRA, backed by MP Robert Halfon and his cross-party group at Westminster as well as all major motoring organisations, initiated a complaint on road fuel pricing to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) last year.

In response the OFT stated that more evidence was needed in order for them to investigate further, yet Madderson believes the OFT could start by monitoring the workings of the wholesale market affecting UK pump prices.

"It is impossible to justify a rise or fall in pump prices to consumers as the market is just not sufficiently transparent," said Madderson. “We will be raising our concerns with the Government so that it can take the necessary action to address this wholesale cost volatility issue further.”