Weekly petrol prices

Retail petrol: According to the Australian Institute of Petroleum, the national average Australian price of unleaded petrol rose by 3.4 cents per litre to 115.1 cents per litre in the week to September 4.

Regional prices: Global oil prices fell by 6-7 per cent last week. The key Singapore gasoline price fell by US$3.60 over the week or 6.1 per cent to US$55.40 a barrel.

Latest capital city prices: MotorMouth records the following retail prices for capital cities today: Sydney 105.5c; Melbourne 124.0c; Brisbane 128.7c; Adelaide 103.4c; Perth 104.7c; Canberra 118.8c; Darwin 113.7c; Hobart 121.6c.

What does it all mean?

Across the globe investors are unsure which way oil prices are headed. Over the last month the Nymex oil price has been below US$40 a barrel, but it has also been near US$48.50 a barrel – a change of more than 20 per cent. And last week global oil prices slid by between 6-7 per cent. What is happening? In short, the world is well supplied with oil. But later in September major oil producers will meet informally and some analysts speculate that they could decide on production cuts to support prices.

Overall, we are doubtful about any attempts to support prices artificially. World oil prices are likely to hover between US$40-50 a barrel through the remainder of 2016.

Certainly Australian pump prices also remain volatile – but that has more to do with the vagaries of the discounting cycle. Average Melbourne pump prices rose by over 21 cents a litre last week with Brisbane prices up 14 cents a litre. In contrast Sydney prices fell around 12 cents a litre with Adelaide prices down 9 cents a litre.

Despite the volatility, pump prices remain historically low. Last year pump prices were near 132 cents a litre. Today prices are averaging 115 cents a litre – a saving of $10-12 in filling up the car.

What do the figures show?

Petrol prices

According to the Australian Institute of Petroleum, the national average Australian price of unleaded petrol rose by 3.4 cents per litre to 115.1 cents per litre in the week to September 4. The metropolitan petrol price rose by 4.7 cents to 114.9 cents per litre while the regional price rose by 0.6 cents to 115.5 cents per litre.

The national average Australian price of diesel petrol fell by 0.2 cents to 117.4 cents per litre in the week to September 4. The metropolitan price fell by 0.2 cents to 116.3 c/l, while the regional average price fell by 0.1 cent to 118.3 c/l.

Average unleaded petrol prices across states and territories over the past week were: Sydney (down by 11.8 cents to 108.8 c/l), Melbourne (up 21.1 cents to 122.1 c/l), Brisbane (up 14.0 cents to 117.2 c/l), Adelaide (down 8.7 cents to 106.3 c/l), Perth (down 0.8 cents to 112.2 c/l), Darwin (down 1.0 cents to 113.9 c/l), Canberra (unchanged at 118.8 c/l) and Hobart (up 0.1 cents to 120.8 c/l).

Today the national average wholesale (terminal gate) unleaded petrol price stands at 107.4 cents a litre, up 1.3 cents a litre over the week. The terminal gate diesel price stands at 105.4 cents a litre, down by 0.4 cents a litre.

Last week the key Singapore gasoline price fell by US$3.60 or 6.1 per cent to US$55.40 a barrel. And in Australian dollar terms the Singapore gasoline price fell by $3.94 a barrel or 5.1 per cent to $73.29 a barrel or 46.09 cents a litre.

MotorMouth records the following retail prices for capital cities today: Sydney 105.5c; Melbourne 124.0c; Brisbane 128.7c; Adelaide 103.4c; Perth 104.7c; Canberra 118.8c; Darwin 113.7c; Hobart 121.6c.

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’s 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 MotorMouth.

What are the implications for interest rates and investors?

Petrol prices are volatile, but that is hardly new for motorists. Still, petrol is trading around 17 cents a litre lower than a year ago which should support retail spending in coming weeks.

Originally published by Craig James, Chief Economist, CommSec.

Extracted in full from The Bull.