Over the past 6 months and also in the near furture, brent oil prices have remained very stable and mostly within a $5 deviance from $110. This has been one of the most stable period for oil prices for many years, yet in the past 6-8 weeks the forecourt prices have risen by 10c-12c.
But before blaming the hardpressed forecourt owners who take an average of just 5c cut of the €1.55 average we are currently paying lets see what has happened since October.
1. The Budget. - Added 1.4c petrol / 1.6c diesel to carbon tax on Dec 6th, it also added 2% vat on Jan 1st. - Total extra taxes approx 4.5c / litre
2. US Dollar / Euro. All through the summer and up til October, the average exchange rate was about $1.43 / €1. Yesterday it dropped below 1.27 - that's an 11% difference in just 3 months and a good chunk of the drop was from end of November. Fuel is bought in US dollars, so this added 11% to the ex tax price of fuel (approx 60c unleaded / 62c diesel) - about 6.5c + of course vat @23% making 8c.
So 8c of the recent increases are attributed to currency moves and 4.5c due to tax hikes - makes a total of 12.5c increase from the October averages of 1.43 & 1.45.
And with oil prices still stable and not looking to move much in the near term, the only potential change in prices will come from the exchange rate between the US dollar & the Euro. In the short term, this may bring some relief, but most commentators are suggesting mid 1.20's as the exchange rate in the medium term.