PREDICTING fuel prices in Mackay is better suited to fortune tellers than economists.

RACQ spokeswoman Renee Smith said there was no petrol price cycle in any regional area outside of south-east Queensland.

While this made planning refuelling stops more difficult, she said, the flipside was that prices were more stable.

“Nowhere outside of south-east Queensland has a price cycle,” Ms Smith said.

“We don’t even know why there is a price cycle.”

She said in Brisbane, fuel prices would reach a low over a couple of weeks before shooting up again and gradually falling down.

Influences on regional prices were general, such as the oil price, terminal gate price and the Australian dollar.

Ms Smith said there was no day of the week known to offer cheaper fuel than another.

“We haven’t seen any big changes in any of those, so we wouldn’t expect any big changes,” she said. “But we would advise people not to wait until they’re on empty, so they can shop around.”

She said commuters should start looking for the best price when they had about a quarter of a tank remaining.

“We want to support those that offer cheaper prices with people power,” she said.

“In regional areas you often see higher prices in more isolated areas, but places like Gympie can be quite cheap because they have a main highway going through.”

The average price of fuel was $1.438c/L in Mackay yesterday, only slightly more than Brisbane at $1.432c/L.

Extracted in full from Mackay Daily Mercury.