A service station owner who immigrated from India is selling fuel for less than $1 a litre – making him Australia’s cheapest fuel retailer.
Metro Petroleum franchisee Jignesh Patel has since Boxing Day been selling E10 unleaded petrol for just 97.9 cents a litre at night.
His service station at Lurnea, in south-west Sydney, has also been selling regular unleaded for 99.9 cents a litre.
Metro Petroleum franchisee Jignesh Patel (pictured) has since Boxing Day been selling E10 unleaded petrol for just 97.9 cents a litre at night
Until Wednesday, he was the first Australian petrol station operator since August 2016 to have sold unleaded for less than $1 a litre.
Average Australian petrol prices haven’t been at this level since February 2005, back in an era when Facebook was a start-up company, smartphones with cameras didn’t exist and John Howard had been prime minister for almost nine years.
Mr Patel, a married father-of-two who moved to Australia from India 13 years ago, said he sold petrol cheaply as a duty to his customers.
‘It’s a great feeling. We can see the reaction of the customers,’ he told Daily Mail Australia on Friday.
His 24-hour service station on Hoxton Park Road offered ‘happy hour’ unleaded petrol for less than $1 a litre between 9pm and 5am from Boxing Day until Wednesday this week
Until Wednesday, he was the first Australian petrol station operator since August 2016 to have sold unleaded for less than $1 a litre
‘They say, “Thank god there’s a good price”.’
The former IT technician, who previously ran pizza shops at Bonnyrigg and Campbelltown, said Metro Petroleum had to squeeze its retail margins to offer cheaper petrol.
‘It’s always plus and minus. Sometimes we’re not getting a really good margin,’ he said.
His 24-hour service station on Hoxton Park Road offered ‘happy hour’ unleaded petrol for less than $1 a litre between 9pm and 5am from Boxing Day until Wednesday this week.
Mr Patel will apply to Metro Petroleum’s Sydney parent company, Dib Group, to sell petrol that cheaply again.
He stressed that Metro Petroleum wore the cost of cheaper petrol, as margins were squeezed to offer motorists a more competitive deal.
His customers were ‘really appreciating’ how he was selling petrol for less than $1 a litre.
‘When they’re coming, they’re always saying, “This is really great and I’ve never seen this price before”,’ he said.
Metro Petroleum franchisee Jignesh Patel (right) immigrated to Australia from India in 2005 and said his many of customers had never seen petrol selling for less than $1 a litre
An appreciative customer included one woman, working early morning shifts, who told her work colleagues about the cheap prices, only for them to disbelieve her.
‘Oh, it’s not possible,’ Mr Patel recalled her telling him.
For 25 days of the month, he aims to sell petrol for 10 cents a litre less than his competitors, who on Friday we’re selling unleaded for more than $1.10 a litre.
In October, when Australia’s average fuel prices climbed above 159 cents a litre for the first time since July 2008, other service stations in Sydney were selling petrol for up to 35 cents a litre more.
Fed up with the high prices, Mr Patel did his best to offer some relief at the bowser.
‘We are trying to give really competitive prices,’ he said
For 25 days of the month, he aims to sell petrol for 10 cents a litre less than his competitors, who on Friday we’re selling unleaded for more than $1.10 a litre
Mr Patel, an immigrant from the Indian city of Mehsana, has run his service station since April last year.
‘This is a great country,’ he said.
‘There’s a fair opportunity for everyone if they want to do something but of course there’s hard work involved.’
Mr Patel’s Metro Petroleum franchise has been selling unleaded at prices well below Sydney’s average price this week of 114.9 cents a litre.
Fuel prices in Sydney have been falling for the past two weeks and NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury said more service stations in the city’s west could see be selling petrol for $1 a litre.
‘If the falls continue in the next cycle, you’ll see a number of service stations that will be hovering just over a dollar,’ he said.
‘I can tell you in south-west Sydney, western Sydney, parts of the inner-west, you tend to see cheaper petrol.
‘There are bargains right across Sydney but that’s where the great concentration of the cheapest service stations are.’
Mr Patel’s Metro Petroleum franchise has been selling unleaded at prices well below Sydney’s average price this week of 114.9 cents a litre
CommSec senior economist Ryan Felsman told Daily Mail Australia Mr Patel’s Lurnea service station was the first in Sydney since August 2016 to have sold petrol for less than $1 a litre.
Australia’s average petrol price hasn’t been sold for less than a gold coin since February 2005, when unleaded was selling for 98.90 cents a litre.
Since October, crude oil prices have fallen by 40 per cent, pushing average petrol prices in Australia’s biggest cities to the lowest point in 15 months.
Sydney’s average is now 114.9 cents a litre compared with Melbourne’s 115.3 cents a litre and Brisbane’s 115.2 cents a litre.
Mr Patel (right), an immigrant from the Indian city of Mehsana, said Australia was a ‘great country’ which offered ‘a fair opportunity for everyone if they want to do something’
‘As long as world crude oil prices continue to fall and the dollar remains relatively stable, we’ll continue to see falls at the bowser,’ Mr Khoury said.
Petrol prices are still much higher in Hobart and Canberra, which don’t benefit from a discounting cycle and competition, leaving motorists with unleaded prices of 151.4 and 146.8 cents a litre, respectively.
While discounting cycles in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane can last for up to 50 days, a weaker Australian dollar and a fall in oil production in Saudi Arabia and Russia could see prices rise again.
‘Every time the dollar drops a cent, it’s the equivalent of just under a cent a litre at the bowser,’ Mr Khoury said.
‘The industry’s so volatile globally it’s just impossible to forecast.’
Extracted from Daily Mail