Petrol prices
 Petrol: According to the Australian Institute of Petroleum, the national average Australian price of
unleaded petrol rose by 3.8 cents to 130.6 cents a litre in the past week. It was the biggest weekly increasein three months and reflects an end to discounting cycles in Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide.
 Marked differences: Today the retail petrol price in Sydney is 121.6 cents a litre while in Melbourne itstands at 134.6 cents.
The petrol figures have implications for retailers, especially petrol marketing groups.
What does it all mean?
 Regional gasoline prices have come off highs in the past three weeks. The wholesale (terminal gate) price isaround 3 cents a litre down from highs. But overall the big-picture influences are largely benign.
OPEC oilproducers are mulling whether to extend the agreement on production cuts. But lower OPEC production is being matched by higher US shale oil production, causing crude prices to track sideways.
 Discounting cycles prevail in many markets in Australia. So in some capital cities petrol prices are near $1.20 a litre; others are near $1.40 a litre. So it is important for motorists to watch the cycles and to use apps to find the cheapest prices on offer in your local area.
 The good news for retailers is that the petrol price is not a factor hindering retail purchases at present.
 The gross retail margin (difference between pump price and terminal gate price) has averaged 12.7 cents a litre this year so far, up from 11.6 cents in the same period of 2016.
What do the figures show?
Petrol prices
 According to the Australian Institute of Petroleum, the national average Australian price of unleaded petrol rose by 3.8 cents to 130.6 cents a litre in the past week.

The metropolitan petrol price rose by 4.7 cents to 130.3 cents per litre while the regional price rose by 1.9 cents to 131.1 cents per litre.

 Average unleaded petrol prices across states and territories over the past week were: Sydney (down by
4.9 cents to 123.3 c/l), Melbourne (up by 12.8 cents to 137.3 c/l), Brisbane (up by 5.1 cents to 126.1 c/l), Adelaide (up by 15.3 cents to 138.9 c/l), Perth (up by 0.8cents to 128.6 c/l), Darwin (up 0.1 cents to 131.6 c/l), Canberra (down by 0.2 cents to 130.1 c/l) and Hobart (unchanged at 140.3 c/l).

 The national average Australian price of diesel petrol rose by 0.2 cents a litre to 128.9 cents per litre in the week to April 30. The metropolitan price rose by 0.4 cents to 129.1 c/l, while the regional average price roseby 0.1 cents to 128.8 c/l.
 The national average wholesale (terminal gate) unleaded petrol price stands at a 16-day low of 115.7 cents a litre, down around 2.1 cents a litre. The terminal gate diesel price stands at 113.3 cents a litre, down 2.0 cents a litre over the previous week.

 Last week the key Singapore gasoline price fell by US$3.10 or 4.6 per cent to US$64.75 a barrel. In Australian dollar terms the Singapore gasoline price fell by US$3.42 a barrel or 3.8 per cent to $86.62 a barrel or 54.48 cents a litre.

 MotorMouth records the following retail prices for capital cities today: Sydney 121.6c; Melbourne 134.6c; Brisbane 139.0c; Adelaide 138.7c; Perth 118.9c; Canberra 129.2c; Darwin 130.3c; Hobart 139.8c.
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.

What are the implications for interest rates and investors?
 CommSec expects the Reserve Bank to remain on the interest rate sidelines for an extended period.
 Higher petrol prices drove the rate of inflation higher over the past six months. But prices have flattened and are now not driving inflation either higher or lower. The trend bears watching.

Craig James, Chief Economist, CommSec