Supermarkets in new petrol price warMorrisons cuts 2p from the price of a litre

11 August 2008

Petrol has never been more expensive

Petrol has never been more expensive

A supermarket signalled the start of another round in the fuel price war today when it cut 2p off the price of a litre of diesel and unleaded.

Britain's fourth-biggest supermarket, Morrisons, announced the reduction, which came into effect at 6am today and makes the national average at its 285 forecourts 109.9p per litre for unleaded and 121.2p for diesel.

The move follows a round of cuts last month that saw Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury's as well as Morrisons lowering prices at the pumps.

Oil prices

Oil prices have dipped nearly 30 US dollars a barrel in the past month amid mounting concern that slower economic growth is reducing global demand.

The supermarket's move comes days after a survey revealed British motorists are forking out far more for their fuel than drivers in the major European vehicle-owning countries.

When Britons were paying around 119p a litre for petrol last month, Spanish drivers were being charged only 96p, the survey found.

Petrol and diesel was also cheaper in Germany, France and Italy, with diesel in Spain at £1 a litre compared with 133p a litre in the UK.

10p off diesel

A Morrisons spokesman said the retailer's latest move meant it had cut 10p a litre off its diesel prices in the last 20 days, and 8p a litre off the price of unleaded on its forecourts in the same period.

It estimates customers will be paying up to £5 less for a full tank of fuel than they were just three weeks ago.

Phil Maud, petrol director at Morrisons, said: 'We've proved it over and over again. When the price of crude and refined product falls, our customers are the first to see the price at the pumps fall as well, with no catches.

'This is another simple price-crunching reduction and shows yet again that we're committed to delivering real value for all our customers - whether they're filling up at our forecourts or shopping in our stores.'

Price match

Tesco today pledged it would match the lowest petrol price in the local area at all its forecourts.

A spokesman for the supermarket giant said: 'We are moving petrol prices down in order to ensure we offer the best price locally.

'We will be doing that almost immediately.'

Asda said it would drop prices to 109.9p per litre for unleaded and 121.9p for diesel nationally from tomorrow morning.

AA public affairs head Paul Watters said: 'Although the AA welcomes further drops in the price of petrol and diesel, big price reductions are by no means happening across the country.

'Cheapest prices in many southern towns are still two to three pence per litre above what drivers are paying in areas where competitive supermarkets are engaged in a dogfight.

'Since the all-time high of 119.7p a litre for petrol and 133.25p for diesel, the wholesale price for petrol coming into the UK has fallen 18% and 22% for diesel. This has yet to be reflected in average UK prices.'

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