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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Petrol prices set to spike ahead of long weekend

Canberrans are being encouraged to fill up their fuel tanks as soon as possible, with petrol prices expected to increase ahead of the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, 6-8 June.

A report from comparethemarket.com.au has shown that while petrol prices hit decade lows during the June quarter, Canberra fuel prices have been rising since May.

The report shows Canberra motorists paid the most for petrol in Australia during the quarter, with an average of 122 cents per litre (cpl).

“In Canberra, the prices are higher but the price cycle seems to be a bit more stable so we don’t seem to have the huge fluctuation we can see happening in other capital cities,” said Abigail Koch from comparethemarket.com.au.

“It also comes down to supply and demand; Canberra is a smaller city so there isn’t as much competition. I will say it is really good that you have places like Costco because it is those independent retailers that drive down prices of the major competitors.”

Last month, ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr challenged Canberra petrol stations to charge fairer prices on fuel, which saw the average price fall to 101.6cpl in mid-May.  

On 1 June, the lowest price found in the Territory was 104cpl.

Ms Koch said based on tracking the previous price cycle and with interstate travel restrictions easing for Canberrans, she expected to see prices rise gradually in the lead up to the long weekend.

“The demand will be larger due to the restrictions easing, which will probably cause prices to rise,” she said. 

“Based on previous price cycles we can expect them to keep increasing post long weekend but depends on the independents and how comfortable they are eating into their profit margins.”

In total, Australians were paying an average of 25cpl less in the June quarter than during the first quarter of 2020.

Ms Koch recommended that motorists shop around for the lowest prices before filling up ahead of the long weekend.

“Most of the major retailers are matching each other between the cents but even if you are only saving a couple of cents per litre it adds up,” she said.

“You can use apps to find the lowest price near you or download your journey and pinpoint the cheapest stations along the way.”

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