SUPERMARKETS across Huddersfield have provided motorists with some pre-bank holiday cheer by reducing petrol prices.
Shoppers filling up on the forecourt at Asda’s Bradford Road site were paying 129.7p a litre for petrol and 134.7p for diesel.
The Leeds-based retailer cut its prices after Morrisons, with stores at Waterloo and Meltham, announced it was cutting prices by 2p a litre for petrol and 1p a litre for diesel.
Sainsbury’s, which has a forecourt at its Shore Head store, has also reduced petrol and diesel prices by up to 2p.
And Tesco, which has a filling station at the Viaduct Street store in Huddersfield, followed suit by cutting petrol and diesel prices by up to 2p a litre.
The latest fall in prices mean the average UK price of petrol now stands at 134.77p a litre with diesel at 139.24p. That compares with start-of-the-year prices of about 132p for petrol and 140p for diesel.
Bernard Stern, site manager for independent retailer C J Stern (Oils) Ltd at Paddock, said typical prices around the town now stood at 133.9 a litre for unleaded and 137.9 for diesel.
But he said the price cuts came against a background of falling sales volumes – and so may not simply reflect falling wholesale prices.
“Volumes have drastically reduced this year,” he said. “Things are very tight out there. The normal thing is for people to put £10 or £20 of fuel into their tank, but sometimes it’s just £5 to eke things out to the end of the week.”
Mr Stern added: “May, June and July are usually our best months, so it will be interesting to see if our volumes rise again.”
He said wholesale prices, which had fallen below $100 a barrel, had risen to $103 dollars, adding: “Unless there is a substantial lurch downward in wholesale prices or the pound strengthens, we may see prices stabilise in coming weeks.”
Asda’s petrol director Andy Peake said: “We’re pleased to be reducing the price of fuel yet again for all our customers.
“Our national price cap benefits everyone across the country, meaning that no-one filling up at Asda will be forced to pay a premium for their fuel because of where they live.”
Sainsbury’s head of fuel Richard Crampton said: “We’re always looking at ways to help save customers’ money, especially in the run up to the bank holiday weekend.”
Morrisons petrol director Mark Todd said: “With a sunny Bank Holiday weekend predicted, we’re expecting to see high numbers of motorists filling their tanks for family trips out.
“That’s why we’re passing on these savings in time for the pre-Bank Holiday shop.”
Asda has 217 filling stations while Morrisons has 314, Sainsbury’s has 281 and Tesco has 497.
AA spokesman Paul Watters said the supermarket price war followed a 40-dollars-a-tonne fall in petrol wholesale prices across Europe.
Taking VAT into account, the reduction in wholesale prices is equivalent to a 2.5p-a-litre fall at the pump.
But he said: “Just as one swallow doesn’t make a summer, two days of commodity price falls doesn’t signal the end of drivers’ pump misery.
“If this trend continues, it would be a good start to the summer season, but no one should underestimate the market’s ability to send prices shooting up again, often just on pure speculation.”