According to the Australian Institute of Petroleum, the national average Australian price of unleaded petrol was steady at 130.5 cents a litre last week.  Prices fell in four capital cities.  In all southern and eastern capital cities, prices are off the high points in respective discounting cycles.

The global oil market is effectively at a cross-roads.  Major OPEC oil producers and Russia are interested in extending agreements to limit production.  But global markets are well supplied with crude, largely due to extra supplies from the US.  Last week the Brent crude price fell US$1.92 or 3.3 per cent to US$55.62 a barrel.  Nymex crude fell US$2.38 or 4.6 per cent to US$49.29 a barrel.

At present Australian pump prices are up from the lows recorded in August but will remain historically low compared with October readings, two, three, four, five and six years ago.

While petrol prices have lifted from lows, at present they aren’t unduly troubling motorists.

What do the figures show?
According to the Australian Institute of Petroleum, the national average Australian price of unleaded petrol was steady at 130.5 cents a litre in the past week. The metropolitan petrol price fell by 0.1 cents to 131.7 cents
per litre while the regional price was flat at 127.9 cents per litre.

Average unleaded petrol prices across states and territories over the past week were: Sydney (up by 13.5 cents to 134.2 c/l), Melbourne (down by 5.6 cents to 133.4 c/l), Brisbane (down by 6.1 cents to 135.4 c/l),
Adelaide (down by 10.8 cents to 116.0 c/l), Perth (up by 0.9 cents to 127.3 c/l), Darwin (unchanged at 128.5 c/l), Canberra (down by 0.1 cents to 128.2 c/l) and Hobart (up by 0.1 cents to 135.3 c/l).
The national average Australian price of diesel petrol rose by 0.3 cents to 127.7 cents per litre. The metropolitan price rose by 0.2 cent to 127.2 c/l, while the regional average price rose by 0.5 cents to 128.1 c/l.

Today, the national average wholesale (terminal gate) unleaded petrol price stands at 116.4 cents a litre, down 0.3 cents over the week.

The wholesale unleaded petrol price hit 5-month highs of 117.4 cents a litre on October 4 and has since fallen by around 1 cent a litre.

The terminal gate diesel price stands at 117.2 cents a litre, up 0.5 cents over the past week.

Last week the key Singapore gasoline price fell by US13 cents or 0.2 per cent to US$70.37 a barrel. In Australian dollar terms the Singapore gasoline price rose by 81 cents or 0.9 per cent to $90.74 a barrel or 57.07
cents a litre. It was a bigger increase in local currency terms due to a weaker Aussie dollar. The lower Aussie dollar over the past month has added around 3-4 cents a litre to the local retail (pump) price.

MotorMouth records the following average retail prices for capital cities today: Sydney 131.1c; Melbourne 129.2c; Brisbane 131.3c; Adelaide 114.3c; Perth 117.4c; Canberra 128.1c; Darwin 127.7c; Hobart 135.2c.

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. AIP data for retail petrol prices is based on available market data supplied by MotorMouth.

What are the implications for interest rates and investors?

Petrol is the single biggest purchase that most families make each week. At present the price of petrol isn’t weighing on budgets. But for that matter, if petrol prices were lower, they would provide a nice foil to higher power prices.

In the September quarter, petrol fell by around 2.5 per cent and will reduce the consumer price index by 0.1 percentage points.

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