BOWSER prices could follow the wholesale unleaded petrol price below $1.30 a litre, the RAA has predicted.

RAA spokesman Mark Borlace said the slump in Adelaide’s wholesale fuel prices from 147.1c on October 15 to 132.1c today was cause for celebration.

Speaking as the retail prices of unleaded reached an average of 141.8c, but continued to fall, Mr Borlace said it was not known how long the good news would continue. “I think we could see retail prices below 130c a litre, depending on where the wholesale price finishes,’’ he said.

Mr Borlace said the RAA was trying to predict when the price would bottom out, but recent changes to the retail price cycle – in which prices regularly jump by around 20c a litre across Adelaide in 24 to 48 hours – made that difficult.

“Even earlier this year the retail prices were dipping below wholesale prices for some time during each cycle, but in the last few cycles this has not happened before prices started going up again,’’ he said.

“History and previous price cycles are no longer that good a predictor.

“The problem is now it is more about the psychology of what is going on inside people’s heads, and working out how the retailers will react.

“The peaks are going up quicker, they are staying up for longer, and at the other end not bottoming out for as long.

Australia’s petrol prices hit 10-year high

The good news is the price has been dropping away quickly because of the drop in the terminal gate or wholesale price.’’

Mr Borlace said the drop of 15c a litre for wholesale unleaded fuel bought by the retailers followed several weeks of easing international pressure which had forced prices up this year to a 10-year high of 160c a litre.

Tension between the US and China, deliberate slowing of production in oil-producing nations and foreign exchange rates, had caused the high prices locally.

The average diesel price in Adelaide yesterday was 157.0c a litre and for LPG it was 93.4c.

The RAA yesterday was also celebrating a breakthrough over its calls for real-time internet fuel pricing data to help motorists who want to shop around for the best price.

It has met with the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, Dini Soulio, who told the organisation that legislation was being drafted that would demand retailers inform a central government location of any change to bowser prices, as soon as they are made.

The RAA has been lobbying for years for a central repository of bowser prices – accurate to the minute they change – to be available to mobile phone app developers.

Mr Borlace said, as had happened in other cities, prices would be forced down when motorists begin to make detours to buy cheaper fuel.

Extracted from Herald Sun