DRIVERS can look forward to petrol prices to continue falling over the next week in the lead-up to Christmas.

But experts say motorists should not think they are getting a good deal.

Price monitoring agency FUELtrac says retailers are dragging out the petrol price cycle to record lengths, meaning a higher average price overall.

The average price of unleaded petrol in Brisbane has fallen 12.6¢ per litre in a week to an average $1.30 yesterday.

“What’s really encouraging is we think it’s going to get even cheaper,” RACQ spokeswoman Lucinda Ross told The Courier-Mail. “We think it will come down to close to $1.20 per litre by Christmas Day.”

While it was difficult to predict exactly when prices would rise again, the RACQ was hopeful they would remain low through to New Year.

“But when you see them low, jump on them because they can jump 20¢ or more within days once they start going back up,” she cautioned.

The motoring organisation expects the diesel price, which has dropped 22¢pl since October to remain stable over the holiday period at about $1.44.

FUELtrac co-founder Geoff Trotter agreed unleaded fuel prices should continue to fall over the next week but said that is simply because they are taking far too long to come down from the previous peaks.

“The Brisbane price cycle is the longest in the country,” he said.

Monitoring by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission shows the last Brisbane price cycle – October to November – lasted a marathon 53 days – twice the 27-day average for the previous four cycles.

While it went from low to peak high in seven days, it took 46 to come back down.

Mark McKenzie, CEO of the servos’ group Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association., said a steady price increase between July 2017 and October 2018 – largely as a result of international factors – had been totally wiped away by a dramatic decline in the last eight weeks, and average prices are where they were 15 months ago.

“How can a long period of price cycle discounting actually be bad for motorists?’

Extracted from Courier Mail