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Petrol prices have risen to nearly $2 per litre and are likely to increase within days of the full rate of fuel excise being reintroduced just before midnight on Wednesday.
The temporary fuel excise cut of 22¢ a litre will end at 11.59pm, leading to expectations of higher prices at petrol pumps within a week.
Petrol prices at BP in Camperdown on Tuesday.Credit:Nick Moir
The NRMA is calling on oil companies to cut fuel prices after the cost of petrol blew out by 42 cents per litre above the average wholesale price
The average price for regular unleaded fuel in petrol rose to more than $1.90 per litre on Tuesday – more than 10 cents higher than expected by the NRMA. The wholesale price was $1.48 per litre.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) wrote to major wholesalers and retailers earlier this month warning them against hiking prices in the days before and after the reintroduction of the excise.
“The letter also stated that we will not hesitate to take action if retailers make misleading statements on price movements or if there is evidence of anti-competitive behaviour (such as price collusion),” an ACCC spokeswoman said.
South Coogee builder David West said he would fill up his half empty tank in the next few days to “try to beat” the higher prices. “It won’t be pretty,” he said.
David West will be filling up his petrol tank in coming days ahead of the expected price rise.Credit:Flavio Brancaleone
NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury said these are the highest gross margins since May 2020 with prices surging across Australian capital cities. This was despite oil prices falling below $US100 per barrel, almost on par with pre-pandemic pricing. Wholesale prices had also dropped by more than 50¢ per litre since June.
“Despite falling global prices and the full fuel excise tax not yet reinstated, prices in Sydney are approaching $2 per litre meaning motorists are paying much more for fuel than they should be in the lead up to the October long weekend,” he said.
Khoury said that when the fuel excise tax cut was introduced in March, it took six to seven days to be passed on to consumers in Sydney, and two to three weeks across regional NSW.
“Australians are already facing cost of living pressures. There is no restraint being shown by the oil companies today, so it is critical the excise isn’t passed on to customers immediately,” he said.
Belinda Vassallo from Baulkham Hills said the rise in petrol prices would have an impact on her car hire business, Humming in a Hummer. She said she would have to pass on any fuel price increase to customers of her business when they were struggling to pay for the service because of cost of living pressures.
“We don’t have much choice about it,” she said. “There is still an uptick of interest in the service. Where we are finding the challenge is when people are making the final payment.
Belinda Vassallo with one of her Hummers, from her business. Humming in a Hummer will reluctantly need to pass on an increase in petrol prices to her customers.Credit:Janie Barrett
Treasurer Matt Kean and the Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government Victor Dominello encouraged Sydneysiders to shop around for the best petrol prices which they said were often found in the western and southwestern suburbs.
“Prices can vary greatly between petrol stations so if you’re filling up a 50L tank and there’s a 20 cent difference between service stations, you’d save $10 by filling up at the cheaper one,” Mr Kean said.
“New data from the past six months shows independents consistently offer drivers the cheapest fuel.”
Dominello said the state government’s FuelCheck app helped motorists find the cheapest fuel anywhere in NSW in real-time, which could save them up to $800 a year.
Mark McKenzie, chief executive officer of the Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association said the current high fuel price was part of the normal petrol price cycle and this would ordinarily fall by about 40 to 45 cents in the next three to four weeks. The increase from the excise would slow that rate of reduction.
“The next week or so will see volatile pricing as businesses make their own pricing decisions and motorists should use the fuel price apps to seek out the best price in their local area,” he said. There is a call to action there.”
A Viva Energy spokesman said it expects to pass on the excise increase – an amount of no more than 25.3 cents – as pre-increase stock levels are drawn down and normal pricing cycles resume.
“It is expected that this will take course over seven to ten days following September 28th. Pricing at individual sites will depend on the local market and competitive site dynamics,” he said.
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