Good news for older Australian drivers

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Australia is the sixth largest country in the world and has more than 810,000 kilometres of road spread out across the country, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It’s no wonder that many retirees are spending nearly $200 a month on fuel.

There was some good news for retirees, however, with average retail petrol prices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth falling slightly in the quarter ending September 2019, due to a drop in international oil prices and a reduction in gross retail margins.

Petrol prices would have been even lower were it not for a weaker Australian dollar.

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC’s) latest quarterly petrol monitoring report, the average retail price in the five largest cities was 142.1 cents per litre (cpl), a drop of 3.2cpl on the June quarter.

The report found that the attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities on 14 September only temporarily affected international oil prices and by the end of September they had returned to their pre-attack levels. This was primarily due to Saudi Arabia supplying oil from reserves and the potential of increased supply from the United States of America.

“The US is now the world’s largest crude oil producer, and can increase its shale oil supply relatively quickly when needed. This means that incidents like the recent Saudi attack may not have as big an impact on international crude oil prices as they would have in the past,” said ACCC chair Rod Sims.

Retail petrol prices in Australia remain relatively low by international standards.

According to the latest OECD data, Australia had the third lowest regular unleaded and premium unleaded petrol prices among OECD members.

The essential reason for the lower retail petrol prices in Australia is the relatively low rate of taxation on fuel. 

Good news for Brisbane and Darwin drivers
Brisbane usually has the highest average price of the five largest cities, but in the September quarter it came second after Adelaide.

The report notes that in the year to September 2019, Brisbane retail prices were on average 2.0cpl higher than the average across the other four largest cities, which was significantly lower than a year earlier (3.6cpl).

The relative decrease in Brisbane prices over the past year may have been influenced by a recent large increase in the number of retail sites in Brisbane. The introduction of the fuel price transparency trial in Queensland in December 2018 may also have had some influence.

In Darwin, average petrol prices in the September quarter were 3.0cpl below the average in the five largest cities, continuing a trend since February 2019, and since July they have been below a calculated long-term competitive cost-based price.

“The relatively low petrol price in Darwin is good news to local drivers. The drop in Darwin’s prices may have been influenced by a change in the price setter at Coles Express retail sites from Coles Express to Viva Energy and FuelXpress opening a new retail site in Palmerston,” Mr Sims said.

How much of your monthly budget do you spend on petrol? Are you surprised that fuel prices actually decreased during the last quarter?

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Written by Ben


Total Comments: 22
  1. 0

    Gee when did the US become the worlds pargest producers of Crude Oil?. I must have been cat napping and missed that one. I am actually starting to read good things about Trump, from new FB friends I have made that are Americain. Apparently younger people that have never been able to get jobs are now getting jobs. Job wise he is doing great things. But not so in other areas, like migration etc.

  2. 0

    This looks suspiciously like it has been written by the oil cartel which is a law unto itself. What has not been mentioned is the sudden spike in price just before a long weekend, school holidays and, recently, the Newcastle area when the Supercars were racing. Why does this practice never get queried by the ACCC which spends its time “looking closely” at the oil companies price structures.

    As to how much of our monthly budget is spent on petrol and are we surprised that fuel prices actually decreased during the last quarter, our normal spend is about 8% of our income and there is no surprise about prices decreasing as there is not much happening as regards holidays. For those travelling at Christmas, the prices will rise on the Thursday before school holidays and will fall once school resumes. The March quarter will be much more interesting. Please forgive my cynicism.

    • 0

      We saw an 80 cents a litre disparity a month ago. The fuel industry is a cartel which is allowed to do as it pleases. I often wonder how much it donates to Liberal Party coffers to be allowed to do as it likes.

    • 0

      I can answer that for you Mick, there is a list of the top 10 fossil fuel donors to political parties. Caltex is 6th on the list and donated $44,138 to Labor, $52,769 to Liberal and zero to any other party.

  3. 0

    WE are being ripped off in Austral;ia bu the oil companies & our last 4 governments that are allowing the oil companies & the 2 grocery chains to import most of our fuel, & close refineries in Oz.

    The last time crude oil was as low in price as it is today, we were buying super petrol for less than 60 cents a litre. Someone is making a huge profit from our importation of refined fuel, probably those grocery chains.

    • 0

      My argument to a tee. Of course the media is not interested in running this as people might be upset. We may at some time need to take note of Hong Kong and what citizens need to do to bring down puppet governments who are working for corporations.

  4. 0

    Hardly good news. It will go up next week for no good reason. The price should be much lower than it is as per oil prices currently. It goes up in a blink of an eye and hardly ever comes down significantly.
    As for gouging, a few months ago I traveled from Epping in Sydney to the northern beaches. Petrol was 143c a litre in Epping and by the time I got to the northern beaches the price was 163c a litre. Something needs to be and nothing will be.

    • 0

      Landed at Brissie Airport today, looking at the price of petrol on the way down thru the
      window of air train: north of Brissie 142c a litre, south 154 and then across the border – 400 metres – 171c. Sure you get 4c off with a Coles/Woolies voucher! Whoopee!

  5. 0

    What a very disappointing and over dramatic story and headline? I shop around (only in my local area, I don’t drive for a specific cheaper price), and fill up once every 3-4 weeks.

  6. 0

    You must be short of stories Ben as this is the sort of BS politicians routinely trot out.
    FOOD is something we ALL need to have and food prices, both because of the drought and greed from supermarkets, have increased significantly. Even Aldi has joined in and is now not too far below the prices from Woolies and Coles.

    Discuss petrol if you wish but how about talking about the RATIO of the retail price of fuel compared to the wholesale price of. That’s a real comparison. alt But of course currency fluctuations need to be factored in as well. All that said the price of fuel appears to be on the high side given we are paying MORE than we did when a barrel of oil cost well over $100.

    If you want to write about cost of living pressures then lets also add in income which has not risen as well as increased costs like government charges, tradesmen & services (accountants, lawyers, doctors, etc.). Then you’ll be comparing apples with apples.

    • 0

      You might as well mention my glass of wine – $1 up over the space of one week to the next. $6 now and you have to be a member of the pub. If not it’s $6.50 (the full bottle is $8.90 at Liquorland!.

  7. 0

    What about the fact our next supply of fuel is not even in Australia it on the high seas some where.Australia could come to a full stop in about three weeks and not one word from the most incompetent Federal government we have ever had to suffer.

  8. 0

    Yes, yes – your average pensioner uses so much petrol…

  9. 0

    It seems that most people are getting the message that fuel prices in this country are so much higher than they should be it’s ridiculous, and that has been the case ever since the crude oil price was above US$100/barrel (It’s now almost half that so figure that out!!!!).
    Unfortunately there is no Government agency of any description with the stomach, and even the RACV is gulity of not pursuing the oil cartels to bleed them a bit.
    I wonder how much the mums and dads pay to fill up in the old US of A every week?

  10. 0

    On the Sunshine Coast:
    Monday $1.32 per litre Wednesday $1.74 per litre, how can that be right?

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