Nick Clark, 02 February 2016

THE small Forestier Peninsula town of Murdunna is showing up the rest of the state with petrol more than 10c a litre cheaper than parts of Hobart.

And RACT member assist general manager Darren Moody has told the Mercury that Dunalley is advertising a price of 112.9c a litre.

“If they can sell petrol in the country for 112c a litre, why are we still paying at between $1.22 and $1.27 a litre in Hobart?” he said.

Mr Moody said from the RACT’s perspective, petrol sellers were gouging.

“The market is being controlled by oil companies and supermarket outlets andthere is little influence that independents can have on the market,” he said. “The supermarkets say they are price followers and not price leaders.”

In Hobart, unleaded petrol was as high as 128.9c a litre at Sandy Bay and South Hobart and 122.9c at North Hobart.

Mr Moody said the wholesale price for Hobart yesterday was 107.5c — a gap of 15.2c.

Figures from the Australian Institute of Petroleum haverevealed that the differencebetween the weekly average retail unleaded petrol priceinterstate and the weeklyaverage wholesale price was 10.2c a litre last week.

“The [wholesale price] for diesel is 93c a litre, so we are not seeing those savings passed on at all. It shouldbe 10c a litre cheaper than unleaded,” Mr Moody said.

The Murdunna seller, between Dunalley and Eaglehawk Neck, said their price was achieved after applying a margin based on the extra cost of sourcing fuel for that area.

In Launceston, Woolworths had unleaded for 119.9c a litre, with a 4c shopping discount.

Tasmanian Automobile Chamber of Commerce general manager Malcolm Little said independents were not price setters and did not have the buying power of the major players.

The gap between the wholesale and the retail prices has been maintained despite an inquiry by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission last year.

Low crude oil prices, a stable Australian dollar and competitive petrol markets have resulted in interstate customers benefiting from cheaper petrol in recent weeks.

Prices at the pump in Melbourne and Sydney range from $1 to $1.10 a litre.

The Australian Institute of Petroleum said the national average Australian price of unleaded petrol fell 1.8c to 111.9c a litre in the week to January 31 — the lowest levels in a year.

The metropolitan petrol price fell 1.7c to 108.9c a litre and regional price fell 2.1c to 117.8c a litre.

The institute said the national average Australian price of diesel fell 2c to 117.4c a litre in the week to January 31.

Extracted in full from The Mercury.