Motorists in South Australia and the Northern Territory have set a concerning new milestone this week, with fuel prices returning to a level higher than before the 22.1-cent fuel excise cut was temporarily implemented as a way of reducing price pain at the pump.

The six-month halving of the 44.2-cent fuel excise tax, between 30 March 2022 and 28 September 2022, saw prices drop to sub-$2.00 per litre levels (for 95RON unleaded) in mid-April.

However, this looks to be a very short-lived reprieve as prices have been steadily increasing in all states, with South Australia and the Northern Territory crossing the previous high watermark for fuel prices at $2.28 and $2.10 per litre of 95RON unleaded respectively.

This is more concerning given we are less than halfway through the excise relief period, which will see a further 22.1c added to every litre of fuel around the country from 28 September.

While other states have average prices still under the pre-excise cut highs, they aren’t far off.

At $2.11 per litre (95RON), New South Wales is only 1.4 per cent away from the high point of $2.14 in March. Victoria at $2.15 per litre is 1.8 per cent shy of the high price point, whereas the ACT is still three per cent shy.

Latest @ 20/6$2.11$2.15$2.20$2.28$2.21$2.10$2.16$2.09
VAR to peak (per cent)-1.4-1.8-2.2-2.6-3.1-1.4
Latest +22.1c excise$2.33$2.37$2.42$2.50$2.43$2.32$2.28$2.31

In 100 days time the fuel excise cut will end, and at current prices, motorists will see an average price for 95-octane unleaded of $2.38 per litre.

If prices continue to rise at the current rate that they have since the lowest point on 19 April ($1.88 per litre), we’ll be dealing with prices around $2.50 per litre on September 27 and a hefty $2.72 when the excise discount ends on 28 September.

Extracted in full form: Fuel prices break pre-excise cut records, and the worst is yet to come – Drive