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Petrol price set to drop by 10c a litre

HARD-pressed motorists will get a boost with the cost of fuel to dip by up to 10c per litre over the next three weeks.

AA Ireland said the price of Brent crude oil, which dictates European fuel prices, has fallen from an average of $106 per barrel during the month of March to $90.

The AA survey of retail prices in June shows the average price was ¤162.9 a litre for unleaded and ¤153.6 a litre for diesel.

There is a three-to-four week lag between a change in prices and a change at the pumps.

AA director of policy Conor Faughnan said it was "fantastic" news for motorists.

Prices are already falling and this is expected to show in the next monthly price survey.

Motorists have had to pay historically high fuel prices in the first six months of the year.

"It made the cost of motoring unacceptably and unsustainably high and caused huge damage to family budgets and to businesses," Mr Faughnan said.

"Oil prices were very high and this Government repeated the mistakes of its predecessor and added to the cost of petrol and diesel in the Budget."

Even if the price of fuel went down another 10c per litre, retail prices would still be too high, Mr Faughnan added.

"We are not out of the woods yet. An absolutely appalling situation just got a little better."

While the signs were that the costs were trending downwards, Mr Faughnan pointed out that in July 2008 the price of crude oil was $150 a barrel but by January 2009 it had fallen to $33 a barrel, illustrating the extreme volatility of the market.

A number of studies by AA Ireland showed that fuel retailers on average followed the drop in prices.

Observers said the eurozone crisis had made the euro weaker against the dollar this year, which has had the effect of making petrol and diesel more costly.