Average UK pump prices have fallen by 1.5 pence per litre over the last six weeks and as fears of a worldwide recession loom larger - the trend looks set to continue.
According to Europe's largest fleet and fuel management company, ARVAL PHH, the price of crude oil has dropped by 25 per cent since the tragic events of September 11 and there is little sign of a recovery in prices in the short term.
ARVAL PHH director of fuel Martin Hender attributes the downward pressure on prices to a dramatic reduction in demand as recession looms in the USA, airlines reduce capacity and tension prevails in the Middle East.
Hender said OPEC's decision to maintain current levels of production, despite the marked drop in demand, meant oil prices had weakened and that the time lag between falling market prices and a corresponding adjustment at the pumps indicated that prices would fall further in the coming weeks.
UK fuel prices have fallen by 7 per cent over the last 12 months, but Hender said it was up to the Government to make a real impact on pump prices by reducing the rate of duty: 'What is needed now is action from the Government on the rate of tax on petrol, which remains the highest in Europe at around 75 per cent.
'Our businesses are feeling that pinch as they try to keep their costs low. Even though prices are coming down they are still much higher than those on the continent and this is seriously impacting on British competitiveness abroad.'
Average UK prices:
- Unleaded - 76.14 pence/litre
- Super Unleaded - 81.13 pence/litre
- Diesel - 76.88 pence/litre