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Coronavirus should lead to ‘dramatically’ cheaper UK petrol prices, says RAC

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28/01/2020
The coronavirus outbreak in China should lead to “dramatically” lower petrol and diesel prices, according to the RAC.

The motoring group said a sudden fall in demand for oil due to the virus means UK drivers should expect a cut in the price of fuel this week.

The coronavirus originated in China and has since spread to at least 16 countries worldwide including France, Germany and Canada.

The death toll from the virus stands at 106, according to the BBC.

Simon Williams, an RAC fuel spokesperson, said: “Some drivers are no doubt aware that fuel prices in the UK are affected by global events, but many will be shocked to hear the coronavirus outbreak in China should lead to the price of petrol and diesel falling dramatically.

“We urge the supermarkets, who are so influential in what drivers pay for fuel due to their massive market share, to pass on the wholesale savings they’re benefiting from to motorists at the pumps, especially as they have actually increased forecourt petrol prices every day since 2 January.”

Earlier this month, tensions between Iran and the US led to fears that fuel prices would rise, but in fact there was only a very short-lived price increase after the US assassinated an Iranian general and Iran’s subsequent retaliation.

Williams said: “Drivers have been unfairly punished as a result of the very short-term oil price rise caused by tensions in the Middle East. It seems as though the big four supermarkets have been capitalising on this as the oil price has fallen steadily from a high of $69.82 on 6 January to $59.75 on 24 January. This is the first time oil has been under $60 a barrel since 31 October 2019.”

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