Fuel prices have been relatively stable over the last several months as supply isn't diminishing enough and demand isn't exactly booming either. However, as time has shown, fuel prices are extremely unpredictable. It just takes one event or change, and prices can spike or plummet. Volatility will continue in the fuel market as much as it does in the stock market, which can keep whoever is managing your fleet's fuel program up at night.
April was an active month for oil prices which started at just over $50/barrel, steadily climbed over $53 by mid-month, then fell back below $50 near the end of the month. The following graph shows the daily price movements over the past three months:
Yet it’s the second part of that equation that often gets neglected: Companies choose a good fuel card provider, they negotiate prices with vendors, but then they either don’t audit their programs, or fail to audit them properly.
Here are a few steps your company can take when it’s time to audit fuel invoices.
Oil prices had been trading in a narrow range between $51 and $54 per barrel from the beginning of the year until early March when prices fell rapidly. Their decline into the high $40’s was primarily attributable to increasing inventory levels despite an agreement to reduce production by OPEC and other foreign countries. The following graph shows the daily price movements over the past three months: