The Farmers' Union of Wales today welcomed the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) decision to launch an investigation into petrol and diesel prices in the UK but expressed disappointment that it did not include domestic heating oil.
"We are pleased that the OFT has decided to look into concerns over the continued high price for petrol and diesel, including red diesel, and wants to identify whether there are competition problems needing to be tackled within the fuel supply sector," said FUW president Emyr Jones.
"According to the AA's latest fuel price report, petrol and diesel pump prices across the UK rose by around 2.5% in August and Wales, together with South West England, recorded the highest diesel price at 140.9p per litre (ppl).
"In addition to such high petrol and diesel, people living in rural areas are also paying around 65ppl for heating fuel. It is a pity that the OFT's 'Call for Information' does not cover heating oil or the level of duty applied by the UK Government," Mr Jones added.
The OFT will be looking at:
* Whether reductions in the price of crude oil are accurately reflected in falling pump prices.
* Whether the trading practices of supermarkets and major oil companies may affect the ability of independent retailers to compete with them.
* Whether there is a lack of competition between fuel retailers in remote communities.
* Whether the current system for oil price reporting is being manipulated or distorted by oil price reporting agencies leading to higher prices being charged at the pump.
Meanwhile, the FUW is consulting members through its county office structure as the OFT is hoping to publish a summary of their findings and any proposed next steps in January 2013.
OFT's closing date for information is Wednesday October 17 so FUW members are urged to submit any comments to their county office or the union's policy department at FUW, Llys Amaeth, Plas Gogerddan, Aberystwyth SY23 3BT by Monday October 8.