FAR North fuel prices are on the slide, with the latest report suggesting last month’s flooding in Townsville may have contributed to retailers’ generosity.

While the average price of unleaded petrol rose across much of regional Queensland in February, the RACQ February Fuel Price Report showed Cairns and Townsville averages had fallen slightly to 131.2 and 129 cents per litre respectively.

RACQ spokeswoman Lucinda Ross said the recent flooding in Townsville could have been behind the fall, as retailers often did not increase their prices during natural disasters.

“Last month, as floodwaters receded in north Queensland, so too did fuel prices,” she said.

“Some servos were forced to close their doors due to electricity outages and road closures and those that remained open tended not to change their prices, despite the other global factors at play.

“Global oil prices have recently reached a three-month high of $US66 a barrel, and that’s chewed into retail margins so many servos across regional Queensland have hiked prices up to 10¢/L.

“The good news for Cairns and Townsville drivers is these cities bucked that trend with indicative retail margins dropping by 4.8¢/L and 3.9¢/L respectively, since January.”

Ms Ross said regardless of how fuel prices trended, motorists needed to make sure they only supported the service stations which charged the lowest prices in their area.

“We’ve seen Queensland’s fuel price reporting trial, which kicked off in December, is also helping to drive prices down as it’s generating high levels of competition among retailers in many markets,” she said.

Extracted from Courier Mail