Morrisons cuts unleaded petrol below £1

December 11, 2015 3:17 am Published by

Morrisons cuts unleaded petrol price to below £1 a litre

  • 11 December 2015
  • From the section Business

A customer pulls the nozzle of a petrol pump from their car at a petrol station in EghamImage copyright
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Morrisons has cut the price of unleaded petrol to below £1 a litre, the lowest UK price level, excluding special promotions, since 2009.

The supermarket chain will be selling unleaded at no more than 99.9p per litre and cutting diesel by 1p a litre.

The price of crude oil continues to fall, with Brent now below $40 (£26.38) a barrel – close to a seven-year low.

Other supermarkets are expected to follow Morrisons. Asda is running a weekend 99.7p promotion on unleaded.

From Friday until Sunday only, drivers at Asda will pay that price for unleaded and 103.7p a litre for diesel.

Morrisons’ petrol retail director Bryan Burger said: “Today, for the first time in more than six years, we are moving unleaded prices down to below £1 a litre.

“This is a moment where motorists will feel some relief after being clobbered by tax and price rises for the last decade.”

The company said it would hold the price “for as long as possible” but that it remained subject to changes in the oil and currency markets.


Analysis

BBC business correspondent Emma Simpson

When the price of Brent crude fell below $40 a barrel earlier this week, the RAC predicted that petrol and diesel prices would fall below a pound a litre at supermarkets before Christmas.

Morrisons new price is just a whisker under that mark, but symbolic nevertheless.

It’s a pre-emptive strike against its main rivals to drive footfall in the all-important Christmas trading season, and to bolster its battle to win back customers from the discounters.

The other big three supermarkets will likely follow suit, but it may still be some time before the average price of unleaded petrol reaches the £1-a-litre mark.


On Wednesday, automotive group the RAC said supermarkets should do the right thing” and pass on savings from falling oil prices.

There should be at least a 3p-a-litre drop for petrol prices and 5p for diesel, taking the average price to 103p and 104p respectively, it said.

However, experts have warned that the falling oil prices are turning into “the nightmare before Christmas” for the industry.

KPMG says the expectation that the price will be “lower for longer” is stretching into 2016, and making companies less willing or able to operate high-cost fields.

Some companies are running out of options other than shutting down oil fields earlier than planned, or being sold at low valuations, head of oil and gas Mark Andrews said.

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