The competition watchdog says big drops in regional petrol prices, including the Hunter Valley, are long overdue.

In the three months to March, petrol prices fell nearly 14 per cent in Muswellbrook, to just over $1.26 a litre, while there was a seven per cent drop in Singleton.

Prices fell nearly nine per cent in Bulahdelah, and just under two per cent in Newcastle.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims said prices in regional areas have been slow to reflect change in the global oil market.

“Certainly, we think it took too long for the international oil price fall to pass through to regional areas,” he said.

“Specifically, we are looking into some regional areas to find out still why prices are as high as they are, because there do look to be some anomalies, but overall it has been a very pleasing reduction.”

Mr Sims said, during the quarter, prices fell to 15-year lows and regional motorists were the big winners.

“The price reductions that have been occurring in the international oil prices have now been finally been passed through to regional areas,” he said.

“The price differential between the cities and rural areas right across Australia was about 17 or 18 cents, both at the end of December and the end of January.

“That differential is now down to two cents.”

Extracted in full from ABC.