Australian petrol prices are set to rise from three-year highs they are already sitting at, according to Caltex chief Julian Segal, as recent crude oil prices flow through to Australia fuel costs.

National average pump prices of $1.46 per litre are the highest they have been since 2014, when oil prices were trading above $US100 per barrel. But a decline in the Australian dollar since then means international oil prices at current levels are translating into higher Australian dollar fuel prices.

Brent crude oil prices are trading at $US77.73 a barrel.

“This is a long way away from the $US35 to $US40 you had not so long ago,” Mr Segal said after the company’s (CTX) annual general meeting in Sydney today.

“You have doubled the price and the rate of exchange is going down. What you are seeing is a reflection of this.”

He said there was a time lag on crude price changes flowing through to pump prices, meaning increased petrol prices were likely as they caught up with a recent jump in crude on the back of Donald Trump’s pulling out of a nuclear deal with Iran.

According to The Australian Institute of Petroleum, there is a one- to two-week price lag between changes in Singapore fuel prices, which track crude movements, and Australian fuel prices.

Since the start of May, Brent crude prices are up 4 per cent.

Commonwealth Bank research says that in the week ending May 6, national prices slipped by 0.3c from a three-and-a-half year high of $1.463c.

Sydney prices were up 5c to $1.48, while Melbourne was down 4c to $1.46 and Canberra was down 0.3c to $1.481.

At the AGM, all resolutions sailed through with 97 per cent or more votes for them, illustrating broad support for the company’s current direction and plans to restructure the business into a fuel/infrastructure and retail business.

The separation of the retail business is focused on leveraging the company’s network of retail petrol stations as consumer trends change and disruptive technology hits the automotive industry.

But Mr Segal said the dominance of electric cars would take longer than many people thought.

He said the electricity system was currently not set up to handle large numbers of electric cars and that the Federal Government would need to find ways to recoup lost excise tax charged on fuel, which would increase the cost of electric cars.

Extracted from The Australian.