RED diesel could soon cost around £1.30/litre amid a rising fuel crisis, an industry trade association has warned.

Chiefs at the Forestry Contracting Association (FCA) have called for more to be done to help the sector cope with surging costs, saying the days of "50p/litre are well and truly a thing of the past" and pricing jobs will soon be impossible without including a "major hike".

Questions are also being raised as red diesel - which is due to lose its rebated status next month - seems to be outstripping the price of white diesel since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent prices soaring.

READ MORE: Voice from the Woods, January 2022: Confusion over red diesel prices 

Urging people not to panic, a statement from the FCA read: "It is time to take a long hard look at where this is all heading.

"Pump diesel looks to be heading toward £2/litre but it's red diesel that's really causing concern. If the usual price difference continues that'll see red at around £1.30/litre.

"We had a report yesterday [Monday] of red being quoted as high as £1.50/litre. Local fuel suppliers were refusing to quote beyond 24 hours in front and some garage forecourts had no road diesel at all." 

To ease the impact on a range of industries, including forestry, trade body the Road Haulage Association (RHA) has urged ministers to delay upcoming changes to the use of untaxed red diesel by 12 months.

It called for fuel duty to be frozen for a further two years, and greater flexibility with the Apprenticeship Levy to help address driver shortages.

The FCA statement continued: "Harvesting contractors in particular are going to have to be very careful pricing future work.

READ MORE: Red diesel issues bring machinery to a standstill

"Fuel is no longer 20-25 per cent of ongoing cost and until this volatility stops pricing future work isn't going to be possible without building in a major hike in fuel cost." 

From April 1, rebated red diesel and rebated biofuels will no longer be allowed to be used as they currently are. For many who will lose their red diesel eligibility, they will need to use diesel or biofuels which the full rate of fuel duty has been paid for.

How has your business been affected by rising red diesel costs? Let us know by emailing