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Petrol prices going back up - will we see $2 a litre fuel again?

Fuel pump
It always pays to shop around to snag the best deal on petrol. (Source: Getty)

After petrol prices spiked well above $2 a litre in March, motorists enjoyed a few weeks of cheaper fuel due to a dip in wholesale oil prices and the halved fuel excise tax.

However, prices are now creeping back up.

NRMA spokesperson Peter Khoury said increasing petrol prices reflected the ongoing volatility in wholesale oil prices.

He said oil prices jumped again last week, but prices had since stabilised.

Fuel prices at the pump in Melbourne had already spiked, Khoury said, with prices sitting at $1.89 a litre.


Sydney had increased around 6-7 cents in the past few days, with fuel prices sitting around $1.67 a litre.

Brisbane was around $1.78 a litre, on average, and Adelaide around $1.84 a litre.

“So, I guess the point is, prices are gonna go back up but not as high as the record highs that we saw.”

His final price prediction? In the next price cycle for the cities that have them, he expects unleaded prices to peak in the “high $1.80s” a litre.

Get in before the peak

Compare the Market fuel expert Sarah Orr said it would be a few days before prices peaked.

“So yes, if you're looking at your tank and wondering, ‘Do I fill up?’ Then yes, now is the time before we peak.”

She expected fuel prices to max out around $1.91 a litre in most places.

She said it always paid to shop around to find the cheapest fuel.

In Sydney, Orr said there was currently an 80-cent difference between the cheapest and most expensive fuel on the market.

In Brisbane, there was a 42-cent difference between the best deal and the worst.

“That's a saving of $21 to fill a 50-litre tank,” Orr said.

Why fuel is getting expensive again

Orr said there was still a lot of volatility in oil markets, with big jumps in oil prices last week followed by a tumble in crude oil prices overnight.

She said another round of lockdowns in China was contributing to the uncertainty in the market, as well as the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

“Expect to see, unfortunately, some high prices while this uncertainty remains,” she said.

Khoury said supply disruptions in Libya were also playing a role.

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