With the price of fuel hitting a record high in the Republic yesterday one local retailer said the latest price hike was ‘the single biggest talking point’ he had come across in recent times.
Speaking with the ‘Journal’ yesterday Colm McKenna, of the Top Filling Station in Muff, said the fact that the price had increased by 6 cents in one week had caused it to hit the headlines, price increases in the past only varying by a couple of centrs over a much more lengthy period.
He also added that, perhaps, the fact that people coming back from holidays had a lot less money in their pockets had made the price increase a major issue.
Mr. McKenna told the ‘Journal’: “We are selling our diesel at 1.26.9 (stg) per litre and our petrol at 1.32.7 (stg).
“That is still much cheaper than in the North, and that is where most of our custom comes from. “In the North diesel is, roughly 1.43 and petrol 1.42.”
The Muff man said the continuing instability in the Middle East was seriously affecting the price.
“The problems in the Middle East are getting worse rather than better and the instability there is causing the markets to be very jump. Prices are high because there are fears that a new outbreak of hostiliies - says between Israel and Iran - could hit the fuel supply.
“The problems in Syria are also a concern for the oil companies.
”The more trouble there is in the region the higher the price. The fear is that the supply will be cut and that there will be a shortage. So there is some storage of fuel going on here by the big companies.
One other factor, according to Mr. McKenna, is the recovery of consumer confidence in the United States.
“America is not exactly booking but what is happening is housebuilding has begun again and consumer confience is returning.
“ People who held off buying cars etc are now buying so consumption of fuel is going up and that means the demand is pushing up the price.”
Any chance of it coming down again?
“I would predict when the European leaders comeback from their super long holidays the Euro crisis will be back on the agenda and confidence in the Euro willfall. And so will the price of fuel.
“But if they could solve the problems in the Middle East we would definitely see an improvement.