Bulk diesel prices stay high in May as further rises predicted

Bulk diesel prices set to rise further, RHA warns

Bulk diesel prices remained high in May, according to figures compiled by trade body RHA. It found that while the average dropped – albeit very slightly – the extent of variation between offered figures contracted and the lowest price found increased from April. 

RHA has also warned that the cost of diesel is likely to rise further as a partial embargo by the EU on Russian oil hits supply at the same time that other supply chain issues are also in play. 

The average bulk diesel price for May excluding VAT was 142.71ppl, down just 1.08ppl, or 0.75%, from April. The lowest figure seen was 137.63ppl, up from 135.79ppl a month earlier, while the highest was 147.95ppl. The latter represents a drop from 154.12ppl.

While the average bulk diesel price has dropped slightly after two consecutive months of increases, the May figure is still 42.9% higher than the 99.90ppl seen 12 months earlier and 22.8% above the 116.17ppl from six months prior. 

RHA cautions that its matrix is made up of prices for bulk diesel deliveries to operators’ depots, which not all businesses can take advantage of. However, the forecourt average excluding VAT as reported by AA in March was actually below the month’s bulk price, and April it was less than 3ppl above. May’s forecourt average is not yet available. 

In a further worry, RHA notes that the Brent oil average price grew by 8.7% in May, “with heavy gains as the month ended due in large part to the EU decision to ban Russian oil via ship.” It adds that exclusion of product from Russia will “of course lead to increased prices for diesel- and gas oil-based products as the market is restricted.” 

RHA has further underlined its previous call for an essential user rebate of 15ppl for coach operators and hauliers. It says the Treasury could introduce that rapidly to relieve some of the pressure on those businesses.