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Have you been feeling pain at the petrol browser?

Ryan Felsman
Wednesday, April 24, 2019

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According to the Australian Institute of Petroleum, the national average price of unleaded petrol rose by 5.5 cents in the past week to 150 cents a litre – the highest level since early November.

What does this mean?

Motorists would’ve experienced some petrol pump pain as they hit the road for the Easter holiday break. Unleaded petrol prices are hovering around 6-month highs. Across capital cities, unleaded petrol prices are currently in a range of $1.44-$1.55 a litre. Just two months ago, prices were around $1.20 a litre. Last week, the average price of unleaded petrol rose in Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney by between 12.8-16.0 cents a litre. Prices fell in Melbourne, however, by almost 4 cents a litre. But the start of the discounting cycle in Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney has seen unleaded pump prices begin to fall in recent days. Prices will remain elevated, but the gradual decline in prices towards $1.40 a litre on the East Coast will be welcomed as we support our brave diggers at Anzac Day dawn services around the country on Thursday and the kids return to school.  

The crude oil prices have risen for seven consecutive weeks, supported by continued OPEC-Russian production cuts and supply disruptions in Venezuela, Libya and Sudan, which have pushed up prices by 45 per cent this year. Last week, the Brent crude price rose by 0.6 per cent to US$71.97 a barrel and the US Nymex price rose by almost 0.2% to US$64 a barrel. But the key regional Singapore gasoline price fell by 1.5% to US$81.70 a barrel. Following the Easter holiday break, global crude oil prices lifted to near 6-month highs in overnight trading (Monday) on global supply concerns. The US announced a further clampdown on Iranian oil exports. Furthermore, the Trump Administration said that it will end all waivers from May 2 that previously allowed eight countries (including China and India) to buy Iranian oil without facing US sanctions. In response, the Brent crude oil price rose by US$2.07 or 2.9% to US$74.04 a barrel and the US Nymex price rose by US$1.70 or 2.7% to US$65.70 a barrel. And the key regional Singapore gasoline price rose by 2.3% to US$83.60 a barrel – the highest level since late October. 

What do the figures show?

According to the Australian Institute of Petroleum, the national average price of unleaded petrol rose by 5.5 cents to 150 cents a litre in the past week – the highest level in 24 weeks. The metropolitan petrol price rose by 7.1 cents to 152.4 cents per litre and the regional price rose by 2.5 cents to 145.3 cents per litre. Average unleaded petrol prices across states and territories over the past week were: Sydney (up by 14.1 cents to 153.2 c/l), Melbourne (down by 3.9 cents to 149.9 c/l), Brisbane (up by 12.8 cents to 157.7 c/l), Adelaide (up by 16 cents to 156.1 c/l), Perth (up by 3.8 cents to 147.7 c/l), Darwin (down by 2.7 cents to 142.0 c/l), Canberra (up by 1.4 cents to 144.3 c/l) and Hobart (up by 3.1 cents to 150.8 c/l). The smoothed gross retail margin for unleaded petrol rose by 1.4 cents to 12.02 cents a litre last week – a two-month high. 

The national average diesel petrol price rose by 0.4 cents a litre to 149.9 cents a litre over the week. The metropolitan price rose by 0.5 cents to 149.2 cents a litre with the regional price up by 0.4 cents to 150.4 cents a litre. Today, the national average wholesale (terminal gate) unleaded petrol price stands at 136.5 cents a litre, up by 1.0 cent over the week. The terminal gate diesel price stands at 138.2 cents a litre, up by 0.3 cents over the past week. Last week, the key Singapore gasoline price fell by US$1.20 or 1.5% to US$81.70 a barrel. In Australian dollar terms, the Singapore gasoline price fell by $2.50 or 2.2% last week to $113.74 a barrel or 71.54 cents a litre. Motor Mouth records the following average retail prices for capital cities today: Sydney 151.4c; Melbourne 145.5c; Brisbane 154.7c; Adelaide 147.7c; Perth 154.9c; Canberra 144.3c; Darwin 144.7c; Hobart 147.7c.

What is the importance of the economic data?

Weekly figures on petrol prices are compiled by ORIMA Research on behalf of the Australian Institute of Petroleum (AIP). National average retail prices are calculated as the weighted average of each State/Territory metropolitan and non-metropolitan retail petrol prices, with the weights based on the number of registered petrol vehicles in each of these regions. AIP data for retail petrol prices is based on available market data supplied by Motor Mouth.

What are the implications for interest rates and investors?

Aussie unleaded petrol prices rose to near 6-month highs last week. Not ideal timing for those heading off on road trips for Anzac Day holidays. Unleaded petrol prices are set to remain between $1.40-$1.50 a litre in the near term. The average terminal gate price for Aussie capital cities has risen by almost 24 cents a litre to $1.36 a litre since the beginning of the year. Gross retail margins are at two-month highs. But there could be some respite from rising oil prices in the second half of this year. US oil production is likely to lift. And Saudi Arabia is expected to increase supply to offset the loss of Iranian crude exports. Russia has already signalled that it may not support continued supply cuts when OPEC meets in June.

Published: Wednesday, April 24, 2019


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