Benefit of lower fuel prices drips through to horticulture

Falling fuel prices are slowly filtering down to the benefit of the horticulture industry, it has emerged.

Delivery, heating, transport, plastics and consumer petrol costs should fall as fuel prices decrease. Heating oil prices have fallen from a peak of about 65p per litre to about 40p excluding VAT.

Bransford Webbs managing director Geoff Webb said: "It has meant transport and plastic pot costs have not gone up, but they have not gone down. You'd hope it should result in a reduction in commodity prices. But we're a fair way down the chain for a lot of things and it's up to us to negotiate."

Bakker Spalding Garden Company managing director Adrian Nind said: "People are very slow to pass things on. Until this year, delivery charges have gone up and up and up so we hope to claw a bit back this year, though the discussion is still to be had."

Former British Protected Ornamentals Association chairman Ian Riggs pointed out that biomass is 40 per cent cheaper than gas and nearly 50 per cent cheaper then oil per kWh.

Garden Centre Association chief executive Ian Wylie and HTA director Carol Paris said cheaper fuel prices mean more people driving to garden centres.

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