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Aussie petrol prices at a 10-year high - where to next?

David Scutt
Petrol prices are set to drop around the country
  • The average price of unleaded petrol in Australia has hit the highest level in over a decade, according to Commsec.
  • MortorMouth reports that average prices in Australia's capital cities currently range from 166 cents per litre in Canberra to 147.3 cents per litre in Adelaide.
  • Wholesale petrol prices have fallen sharply in the past two weeks and the Australian dollar has stabilised, something that could see average prices fall by up to 8 cents over the next one to two weeks.

The average price of unleaded petrol in Australia has hit the highest level in over a decade, according to Commsec, citing data from Australian Institute of Petroleum.

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At 159.3 cents a litre, the average nationwide price now sits at the highest level since late July 2008, reflecting prior strength in global crude oil prices as well as ongoing weakness in the Australian dollar.

"The metropolitan petrol price rose by 1.8 cents to 159.1 cents per litre, and the regional price rose by 1.3 cents to 159.7 cents per litre," Commsec said.

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Along with reflecting previous movements in the crude price and Aussie dollar, the average price per litre was also boosted by an increase in gross retail margins which rose by 3 cents to 13.8 cents per litre from a week earlier.

According to data from MotorMouth, average prices in Australia's capital cities currently range from 166 cents per litre in Canberra to 147.3 cents per litre in Adelaide.

However, given a recent stabilisation in the Australian dollar against the greenback as well as losses in crude oil futures, Commsec says relief is on the way for motorists with predictions that the average price nationally could fall as much as 8 cents a litre in the next one to two weeks should recent falls in wholesale petrol prices be sustained.

"This will be welcome relief as the national unleaded petrol price scaled decade highs in the past week," Commsec says.

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"In capital cities with a discounting cycle, petrol prices could fall as low as 143 cents a litre but may still be as high as 170 cents a litre when the discounting cycle ends."

The recent decline in Singapore gasoline prices -- where Australian fuel is predominately sourced from -- is shown in the chart below from Commsec.

In the past two weeks the average cost has fallen by 8.3 cents a litre in Australian dollar terms, something that should flow through to motorists in the absence of any expected near-term reversal in crude prices, renewed Aussie dollar weakness or margin expansion from petrol retailers.