Good news for motorists as cost of petrol and diesel falls for the first time in six months
Petrol prices at the pumps have dipped for the first time in six months - and diesel is at the lowest price so far this year.
Petrol and diesel prices have fallen by an average of 1.1c per litre across the country, according to the latest monthly fuel prices survey from AA Ireland, which tracks prices on an ongoing basis.
On average, a litre of petrol now costs 136.6 cents at the pumps, with diesel selling at 126 cents a litre. In March petrol averaged 137.7 cents a litre and diesel was retailing at 127.1 cents.
It is the first time since September 2016 the price of a litre of petrol has fallen, while diesel has now dipped to its lowest level since the beginning of this year.
"While it may not be the most sizeable decrease, particularly when we consider that the cost of a litre of petrol or diesel is still about 5c higher than it was at the end of 2016, this does represent some overdue good news for motorists," Conor Faughnan, AA's director of consumer affairs, said.
"While we don't know what the future holds for fuel prices, after months of significant increases we will hopefully see a new trend emerge," he added.
The latest falls here are likely to reflect the feed through from a drop in world oil prices in early March.
International oil prices are volatile at the moment, however.
Yesterday crude oil prices slipped on world markets but it followed three straight weeks of gains.
Prices fell because rising oil output from US producers was seen as undermining efforts by the Saudi Arabian-led Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) group of oil exporters to keep prices up by limiting supply.
"The Texans are back and they are pumping like there's no tomorrow," said Matt Stanley, a fuel broker at Freight Investor Services (FIS) in Dubai. "If I were Opec, I'd be pretty worried."
Despite the drop in fuel prices, the AA said that the tax levels imposed on fuel here are too high. Tax accounts for 63.18pc of the current price of a litre of petrol, and 58.3pc of the price of a litre of diesel, the AA said.
"We are a largely rural country where many motorists drive out of necessity and taxing fuel spend to the extent to which it is currently taxed makes it harder and more expensive for people to get to work. Instead of making it easier for people to commute to work, the Government is actually taxing fuel to the point where it becomes an anti-stimulus measure," Mr Faughnan said.