OFT Publishes Road Fuels Monitoring Report
The Office of Fair Trading has today published its Road Fuels Monitoring Report.
Chief Officer Mike Ball advised:
“Since the publication in 2010 of the last major Report into the Road Fuels market in the Island the OFT has been monitoring the market and has regularly published data. This Report looks at the longer term trends in the market using both published and unpublished data and seeks to identify any matters which give rise to concern”
The 2010 Report concluded, based upon the work of specialist external consultants, that the differences between Manx and United Kingdom fuel prices were justified by the additional costs associated with supply to an Island market and the lack of economies of scale. The 2010 Report also concluded that both the importers and retailers were making reasonable levels of profit.
OFT Chairman David Quirk MHK summarised the key conclusion of the new Report:
“Whilst there have been structural changes within the market, with Manx Petroleum becoming an importer in their own right rather than a Shell agent, and the business of Total (IOM) being sold to Ellan Vannin Fuels, the underlying business models are fundamentally the same. The changes in the differential between local prices and U.K. benchmarks are explained by increased costs and neither the importers nor retailers have increased profitability since the last Report.”
As a result the OFT does not intend to launch a formal investigation into fuel prices at this time. It will, however, continue to monitor the market and publish data.
As Mr Quirk explained:
“We understand how important this market is for consumers and if we see problems we will not hesitate to act”.