Brisbane motorists will be under the pump to find petrol below $1.90 a litre by the weekend – with fuel prices set to break new eye-watering records.

Just three weeks after Brisbane hit a new record average high, forking out $178.8 per litre – fuel price analysts have predicted prices across South East Queensland will skyrocket once again.

RACQ spokeswoman Renee Smith said the average cost of unleaded petrol in Brisbane this week was $161.4 a litre – but this was at the “cheap phase” of the fuel cycle.

“We know as we enter the expensive phase of the cycle prices increase by about 30c per litre,” Ms Smith said.

“When we hit that peak we’re really worried the average price is going to get up to $1.90 (per litre) and we’ve never seen $1.90 in Brisbane or anywhere in South East Queensland.”

The average petrol price in Brisbane last month was $164.20 – 40c higher than the cost of petrol in October last year.

The price difference between now and 2020 is largely due to the increase in oil prices – now trading at more than $US80 a barrel compared with $US40 a barrel in May 2020 – driven high by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Ms Smith said the easing of Covid-19 restrictions was also increasing demand.

“As countries open up from Covid-19 restrictions, international supply and demand issues have driven up oil prices leading to high terminal gate prices which then impacts what we pay at the bowser,” Ms Smith said.

FuelTrac general manager Geoff Trotter said motorists could expect to pay $1.90 by the weekend and at that price, fully integrated oil companies would make over 50c a litre gross profit.

“There’s the underlying oil price, but more than that oil companies are enjoying very high refinery margins,” he said.

Mr Trotter said that as the world emerges from the pandemic the high fuel prices would drive up inflation and be a “brake” on the economy’s recovery.

He also cautioned that there would be no respite over Christmas, with the underlying oil price predicted to rise in December and January as part of the annual “northern winter effect”.

Ms Smith urged motorists to use cheap-fuel-finder apps and fill up fuel immediately before the prices surge even more.

Extracted in full from: Brisbane petrol prices set to hit $1.90 by weekend | The Courier Mail