Record-high fuel prices are likely to continue over the coming months across South East Queensland, prompting warnings for motorists to avoid filling up at the top of the cycle.

Unleaded petrol was selling for more than 170 cents per litre at more than four out of every five service stations across Brisbane and the Gold Coast this week.

This pushed the daily average price to 173.5c in Brisbane and 173.3c on the Gold Coast on Tuesday, breaking the previous record set in December 2019.

RACQ criticises ‘unfair’ prices

RACQ spokeswoman Renee Smith said the records were due to a “triple whammy” and urged motorists to use price-comparison apps to find cheaper fuel.

“We’re at the high point in the fuel cycle in SEQ,” Ms Smith said in a statement.

“Oil prices (in Australian dollars) are at a two-year high and retailers have retained unreasonably high retail margins.

“During the pandemic, servos had high indicative retail margins because so many people weren’t driving, so fuel sales volumes were low — but now [that] sales are back to normal, the fact they’re still charging these exorbitant prices is frankly unfair.”

Report: Brisbane most expensive

The RACQ’s Monthly Fuel Report for June showed the average unleaded price of 150.3c was 4.1c higher than in May, achieving a 32-month record high.

Brisbane was the most-expensive capital city in which to buy fuel in June, with prices 4.3c higher than the second-most expensive prices, in Sydney, and 13.5c above the cheapest capital city, Adelaide.

While regional unleaded prices were cheaper when compared to South East Queensland, the average regional price for unleaded petrol was 140.7c, 1.4c higher than in May.

With average unleaded prices of 134.1 cpl and diesel prices and 134.2 cpl, Roma was the cheapest regional centre for drivers to fuel-up.

The report noted that the average Brisbane diesel price in June, at 140.3c was 3.8c dearer than in May.

Also, the report warned, COVID-19 was still the major threat to economic growth and oil demand.

“A resurgence of COVID-19, especially one of the new strains, could significantly reduce demand and lead to falls in the oil price,” the report said.

“However, if vaccine rollouts continue and become more widespread, and COVID retreats, the oil price will continue to strengthen.

“A sustained oil price rally is likely to lead to new record high oil prices and record high retail prices in SEQ in the coming months.”

‘Rip off’

The general manager of the FuelTrac petrol price monitoring service, Geoff Trotter, told ABC Radio Brisbane South East Queensland motorists were being “ripped off”.

He said it was “about time” the Queensland government did something to stop the price surges.

“If the government was serious, they could put a cap on these companies and it wouldn’t go above a certain level at any given time,” Mr Trotter said.

“We’d do away with these petrol price shocks that hit us every few weeks.”

Speaking at a news conference today, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the current reporting scheme lets consumers know the difference in prices across the region.

“I’m not in charge of setting the prices. The market sets that,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“I don’t think we can do anything more but at least people can shop around [for] where there is cheaper fuel in their local area.”

Extracted in full from: RACQ warns record-high fuel prices across South East Queensland could continue – ABC News