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46-cent difference: You could be missing out on cheaper petrol

·3-min read
Petrol prices and money
Aussies have been paying well over $2 a litre for petrol for stretches of 2022. (Source: Reuters, Getty)

Petrol prices have dropped substantially in line with falling wholesale oil prices, with all major capital cities, aside from Melbourne, seeing average unleaded fuel prices well below $2 a litre.

Compare the Market’s Chris Ford said the crude benchmarks had dropped by around 16 per cent in the past month.

As a result, wholesale prices had dropped by around 17.5 per cent since the start of July.

Ford said retail fuel prices had fallen dramatically across the country, with Adelaide motorists enjoying an average price per litre of $1.66.

Perth had also seen a decent drop, to $1.77 a litre on average, as had Brisbane ($1.88/L) and Sydney ($1.89/L)

However, Ford said Melbourne’s fuel price remained unusually elevated, even for a city in the late stage of its fuel cycle.

“There’s a staggering 46-cent difference per litre between the average unleaded 91 price in Melbourne and Adelaide, which is nearly a $30 difference if you’re filling up a 60-litre tank,” he said.

“There’s no great reason for the difference to be so big, and it is hurting Victorians when

they are already feeling the cost-of-living pinch.”

Ford said Victoria remained the only state without live, to-the-minute reporting on fuel prices, and motorists were paying the price.

“Retailers are not duty-bound to update their live prices, which means they often go days without posting their new information,” he said.

NRMA spokesperson Peter Khoury said oil prices had been falling since the middle of June, but there was some concern about how quickly these price falls were being passed on.

“What we now need to see and what is obviously of great concern is making sure that those falls are passed on,” Khoury said.

“In some areas, it's happening very, very slowly, and in some areas, it's just not happening at all.”

In Sydney, for example, he said price falls were happening at less than 1 cent a day.

What about when the fuel excise tax comes back?

Aussies are also bracing for the return of the fuel excise tax, which is due to be reinstated in full in September.

This will add another 22 cents a litre.

Khoury said there was no way of knowing where fuel prices would be, come September.

“We just have no idea what's going to happen tomorrow or even this afternoon. That’s just the nature of the market this year,” he said.

He said the factors contributing to volatility in the global markets weren’t going away anytime soon.

“There is certainly hope. We're certainly wanting to see increases in supply,” Khoury said.

He said fears of a global recession would likely cool off demand.

“So, you might end up seeing relief that way, but at the expense of a global recession.”

He said demand for oil had already fallen off in the US due to concerns about the economy.

On the other hand, the hope of securing more production out of Saudi Arabia had not happened, which would continue to restrain supply, and much of China remained in lockdown.

“How that plays out remains to be seen,” Khoury said.

The war in Ukraine also continued to have a massive impact on oil prices, he said.

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