Petrol prices spike across Adelaide — but it’s been one of the least expensive places to fill up
By Sourced Externally
September 22, 2023
Petrol prices in Adelaide have jumped to $2.29 per litre, the highest levels in a year with pressures on the cost of oil not expected to ease for another two months.
Fuel prices have reached $2.29 per litre at service stations across Adelaide
Adelaide still remains one of the cheapest capitals to fill up
Factors causing the spike in oil costs are not expected to ease for two months
The cost of unleaded fuel increased by about 40 cents per litre overnight at the bulk of Adelaide service stations.
Royal Automobile Association (RAA) spokesperson Mark Borlace said while the spike had come as a “slap in the face” to many drivers, average petrol prices were not likely to hit the same levels as other big cities.
“As horrible as our prices seem, the ACCC report last month said that we’re still on average [one of] the cheapest mainland capitals,” Mr Borlace told ABC Radio Adelaide.
“We are unlikely to see those sorts of spikes [that are happening in Sydney] soon, but the underlying pressure is probably going to sit there for another month or two.”
The report by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission found that Adelaide’s average retail petrol price during the June quarter was 180.2 cents per litre — the second lowest capital on Australia’s mainland, while Perth had the lowest average price with 178.3 cents per litre.
Pensioner Dawn Pitman, who filled up her car on Wednesday said trying to navigate when petrol prices would increase had become “bit of a problem”.
“They’ve got us over the barrel really, they [service stations] can do whatever they want to do really,” Ms Pitman said.
“Being on the pension, you’ve sort of got to budget for everything and I need my car to do whatever I need to do, so yes it does become a bit of a problem.”
Another local driver caught off-guard at the bowser, Alan Jones, said he believed that the change in fuel prices were “a bit dodgy” but admitted he was still glad to be refilling in Adelaide.
“We were in Sydney a couple of weeks ago and seeing the price over there and thought yeah wow, maybe it’s not so bad but it’s still hard,” Mr Jones said.
Feeling the pinch
While the prices themselves are expensive, the flow-on effects on personal finance — and daily life — that have experts concerned that more consumers will be forced to choose between bare necessities.
The SA Financial Counsellors Association’s executive officer Kate Fox said fuel was just one of the many cost-of-living pressures forcing those doing it most tough to make difficult decisions.
“Those on the lowest incomes are obviously going to feel the pinch the most – they’re also probably the group of people who can’t afford the newer cars that are more energy efficient or more fuel efficient,” Ms Fox said.
“We’ve heard stories of people who’ve had to get emergency assistance so that they can afford to pay their petrol so that they can afford to get to work which then means they can afford to pay their housing and not lose their accommodation.
“We’ve also heard stories of people who struggle to afford to pay the petrol to get their kids to school or if they can afford the petrol to get the kids to school, it can be difficult for them to pay for food to eat while they’re at school, so it really is a tight juggle for some families.”
Mr Borlace said that the spike in price has been driven by a range of international and domestic factors, which he said could last for another two months.
“OPEC [Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries] countries in the Middle East and Russia are starting to slow up supply to drive prices up,” he said.
“The second [factor] is all our oil contracts are in Australian-to-US dollars and we’ve got a weakening dollar.
“It’s probably close to the highest we’ve paid in a while and I don’t know if it will go that much higher but I don’t see them reducing for the next month or two.”
In March last year, the previous federal government halved the tax charged on each litre of fuel sold in Australia, dropping it from 44.2 to 22.1 cents.