Fuel prices across south-east Queensland have again hit record averages, prompting warnings for motorists to avoid the bowser for a few days yet.

The RACQ on Thursday said it was the third time in months that Brisbane’s fuel price records had been broken as average prices peaked at 178.8 cents per litre, nearly 5 cents more than the previous record of 173.4 cents in September.

On the Sunshine Coast, average fuel prices tipped 176.8 and Ipswich prices reached 174.8 cents per litre.

The Gold Coast experienced its highest fuel prices since December 2019 according to RACQ analysis, with motorists forking out 178 cents per litre.

“Now is the worst possible time to be filling up the tank,” RACQ spokesperson Renee Smith said.

Regional fuel prices have also risen with averages for unleaded fuel reaching 163.2 cents per litre in Cairns and 161.6 in Townsville.

Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association chief executive Mark McKenzie told ABC Radio Brisbane on Tuesday that high prices were being experienced across the country.

He said two factors were driving the high costs.

“The first is a global increase in the finished price of fuel, and there’s a range of factors that are actually affecting that,” he said.

“And the second is … the move in the petrol price cycle, and that happens about every 30 days, and in the last eight days the price cycle has been moving up.”

Supply and demand

Mr McKenzie said the global price of fuel was “typically a tension between supply and demand”.

Following the drop in demand for fuel last year when air traffic ground to a halt, wholesale fuel prices dropped to 86 cents per litre, the lowest in 30 years, he said.

At the same time, refineries dropped their production levels.

A close up of petrol pumps at a service station.
Global demand is driving up fuel prices.(ABC News: Chris Gillette)

But as the global economy eases its way back to a more normal operation, the global supply price has increased to 150 cents per litre wholesale.

“That’s the price I pay as a service station to have fuel delivered to me,” he said.

On Thursday morning, fuel price websites recorded unleaded petrol prices of 179 cents per litre or more across inner Brisbane, and 177 cents per litre around Southport.

Mr McKenzie said the drive in costs was compounded by the amount of time it was taking for global refineries to come back online after a dip in production last year.

“The demand is coming online quicker than the available supply, so the price is rising,” Mr McKenzie said.

Extracted in full from: Brisbane fuel prices hit record levels as refineries crank up to meet demand – ABC News