Petrol prices in Australia’s five largest cities rise despite demand well below pre-COVID levels
By Sourced Externally
July 8, 2021
Petrol prices across Australia have risen despite demand below pre-pandemic levels while Brisbane and Melbourne recorded the most expensive petrol per litre.
In the March quarter petrol prices across the five major cities in Australia averaged well above the previous quarter.
The rise in prices comes despite demand for petrol remaining below pre-pandemic levels due to restrictions on travel and economic activity.
Across the five major cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth the average petrol price was 133.4 cents per litre (cpl) which was an increase of 12 cpl from the previous quarter.
Adelaide recorded the biggest rise with an 18cpl increase from the December 2019 quarter to the March quarter, with Perth recording a rise of 12.5cpl, followed by Sydney at 10.4cpl, Melbourne at 9.9cpl and Brisbane at 9.6cpl.
Despite registering the smallest rise in petrol price Melbourne, 136.2cpl, and Brisbane, 132.1cpl, had the highest average prices for the March quarter.
The ACCC reported the higher petrol prices were due to rising international crude oil prices that were above the inflation-adjusted 40-year average of $61USD per barrel for the first time since December 2019.
ACCC Chairman Rod Sims also said crude oil supply from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries was responsible for the higher petrol prices.
“The OPEC cartel controls a huge amount of global oil supply. Its agreements to restrict supply means higher crude oil prices which largely influence refined petrol prices,” he said.
“The higher price of Mogas 95, the benchmark for refined regular unleaded petrol in the Asia-Pacific region, means we are paying more for petrol at the bowser.”
Despite not returning to pre-COVID levels the petrol demand recovered over towards the end of 2020 but dropped off again in the March quarter as restrictions remerged.
ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said Australia was currently experiencing “a flow-on effect of higher international crude oil and refined petrol prices”. Picture: Jonathan Ng
Lockdowns in Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne and parts of Sydney, and floods in New South Wales and Queensland, contributed to sales declining slightly in the March quarter 2021,” Mr Sims said.
Residents in 190 Regional areas have enjoyed petrol 3.3cpl cheaper than the five major cities in the March quarter despite regional areas historically having higher prices, according to the ACCC Chairman.
“Petrol prices have traditionally been higher in regional areas, where there is generally less competition, so three consecutive quarters of lower prices than major capital cities is good news for people filling up at the bowser in the regions,” Mr Sims said.