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Petrol Prices set for record high

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A leading motoring organisation in Northern Ireland has warned motorists to prepare for record highs in the price of petrol in the coming weeks.

The organisation has made public it’s ‘alarm’ at the high level of wholesale prices against the backdrop of a weak global economy.

May saw Petrol and Diesel prices hit an all-time high, with unleaded costing 137.43p per litre and diesel averaging at 143P per litre.

Experts claim that part of the problem is a relentless rise in the cost of a barrel of oil, which has soared from $110 in late August to $116.4 today.

A spokesman for the motoring organisation said that they hoped the rise would be short and sharp, and not over a protracted period.

They continued, "We are very concerned by how much the wholesale price is stubbornly staying above $1,000 per metric ton.”

"If you combine that with a weakened pound, then the outlook is very bleak indeed and we are looking at a return to the record price hikes we experienced four months ago."

Motorists are already feeling increased pressure from the rising costs associated with owning a vehicle recently.

A report released by Sainsbury’s finance revealed that the cost of running a car is up by 21% since April 2010, which has resulted in over one million people in the UK being forced to find alternative means of transport.

Research has also suggested that the average Northern Ireland family has seen its annual income fall by around £600 a year.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has said that the predicted decline in oil and other commodities has been less than expected, based on historical relationships with global demand.

Pump prices have been forced up by unrest in the Middle East, fuel duty increases and a VAT hike to 20%.

Northern Ireland has suffered the most in petrol prices as it has had the highest petrol prices for anywhere in the UK every month of this year.

Unleaded costs in Northern Ireland, on average, have been 136.7p per litre compared to a UK figure of 135.7p, while diesel is 140.8p compared to 139.9p.

By Ben Malkin

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