Diesel prices have been reduced by supermarkets in response to concerns raised by the competition watchdog.

Following the competition watchdog’s decision to intensify scrutiny of the market, supermarkets and other prominent retailers have hastened their cuts to diesel prices, as reported by the RAC.

The Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) update to its road fuel market study on May 15 highlighted that average supermarket margins in 2022 were higher than in 2019. This led to a decrease in the average price per litre of diesel by 7.44p to 151.02p.

Throughout April, while the top four supermarkets were selling unleaded petrol at approximately 143p per litre, diesel prices at their outlets remained consistently high. The price of diesel was only lowered by 10p per litre (from 161.4p to 151.02p) in the month leading up to the CMA’s announcement.

As of May 15, the price difference per litre between petrol and diesel at supermarkets was 9p. However, by Monday, this gap had reduced to a mere 2.5p.

RAC’s fuel spokesperson, Simon Williams, pointed out that the announcement by the CMA concerning supermarkets’ increased profit margins compared to three years ago and their plans to formally interview executives has seemingly led to an accelerated reduction in diesel prices.

Nevertheless, despite a 27p drop in the average price of supermarket diesel since the start of the year, diesel drivers continue to receive a raw deal. For two consecutive months, diesel has been cheaper for retailers to purchase on the wholesale market compared to petrol, yet they persist in charging more for diesel at the pumps.

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