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Why is diesel more expensive than petrol?

Could you explain why the cost of diesel fuel is up to 8p per litre more than petrol? As diesel is a lower fraction of the crude oil from which it is made than petrol, it needs less processing and as it is used in volume by commercial vehicles, it should be cheaper, not more expensive.

Asked on 2 November 2012 by PW, Leicester

Answered by Honest John
It’s also heating oil. And less of it can be refined from a barrel of crude than petrol without employing some extremely expensive refining processes. The economics of supply and demand then decide the price.
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