PETROL prices across the NT won’t drop in the coming weeks due to the coronavirus, despite other states enjoying prices as low as 89c/L.
FuelXpress owner Pat O’Connell said he was seeing less traffic which meant in turn he had to raise prices.
“There’s some concerns from my perspective, our forecourt traffic has dropped, which means the amount of customers coming to the site has fallen significantly. As a result your fixed and variable costs of business go up,” he said.
“That’s a concern to my business, that’s for sure, that continuing fall-off of the retail business.”
Currently trading at 129.5 cents per litre for diesel and 122.5 cents per litre for unleaded, Mr O’Connell said his Winnellie and Palmerston stores were doing what they could to keep prices low.
However, while South Australian and Western Australian motorists are seeing prices as low as 89 cents, he said the Territory ran on a different price cycle and couldn’t be compared to other states.
“Tasmania, NT and Canberra don’t have price cycles, pricing is consistent and it’s fair pricing, (other states) have price cycles where you will get one or two sites advertising very low prices but they aren’t sustainable,” he said.
“As we can we’re reducing prices. If you have a look at Winnellie we’ve passed on savings where we can and in time those savings will continue to be posted on the retail prices.”
AANT chief executive Anthony Hill said regardless of other states’ fuel prices, the cost of fuel in the NT should drop.
“These prices must come down, Territorians are doing it tough right now,” he said.
“This is not a time for fuel retailers to be gauging.”
Chief Minister Michael Gunner said while Territory prices had been very competitive, it was important savings continued to be passed on to customers where possible.
“The petrol giants need to give Territorians a break and keep prices lower,” he said.
“Global prices are falling so there’s no excuse to not pass on the savings.
“For the past few months the NT has had some of the lowest prices in the nation, and it should stay that way.”
Mr O’Connell said the coronavirus pandemic hadn’t had an impact on fuel supplies.
“It’s an essential service and there’s no interruptions to supply,” he said.
“That’s not only to refineries but also to shipping.”
Extracted from NT News