Brisbane petrol prices have been running at an inexplicable 15c-a-litre higher than Sydney in the past month.

Motorists have been paying upwards of $2.37 a litre in the past fortnight across the city, putting further strain on already tight family budgets.

And while experts say a “perfect storm” of events led to the price rise, there were no local factors driving the gouge.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says Brisbane prices are starting to drop and may fall further after peaking in early October.

Analysis of Australian Institute of Petroleum data shows that Brisbane’s weekly average petrol price hit a peak of 232c a litre in the week ending October 8, compared to Sydney’s peak of 217.7c per litre in the week ending September 24.

Brisbane motorists paid 15c a litre more at their price peak compared to Sydney. Picture: David Clark

Brisbane motorists paid 15c a litre more at their price peak compared to Sydney. Picture: David Clark

The difference between the top weekly average price last year was just 3c a litre, when Brisbane hit 219.3c and Sydney reached 216.4c on June 26.

A range of factors has been driving up petrol prices across the board, including the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries slashing the production of oil, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the value of the Australian dollar.

RACQ principal economic and affordability specialist Ian Jeffreys said there were no local factors that effected Brisbane prices, such as disasters or supply chain disruption.

But he said there was a perfect storm of peak oil prices driving up wholesale prices at the worst time in the cycle for Brisbane.

Dr Jeffreys said that while Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney all had similar petrol price cycles, they were out of sync with each other.

Brisbane motorists paid 15c a litre more at their price peak compared to Sydney. Picture David Clark

Brisbane motorists paid 15c a litre more at their price peak compared to Sydney. Picture David Clark

“Brisbane and Sydney are in complete opposite alignment,” he said.

“Sydney is expensive when Brisbane is cheaper and vice-versa.”

Dr Jeffreys said that when Sydney entered its price rise cycle early in September wholesale petrol prices were lower, but by the time Brisbane entered its cycle wholesale prices had jumped.

An ACCC spokeswoman said price cycles could be influences by movements in wholesale prices, but also by local competition.

“The ACCC previously found in a report on Brisbane that, compared with Sydney, retail pricing was less competitive with retailers setting prices higher at the top and bottom of the price cycle than retailers in Sydney,” she said.

“We encourage motorists to use the available fuel price apps and websites to shop around.”

As of Thursday afternoon, the average price of unleaded petrol in Brisbane was 222c a litre but ranged from a low of 205.9c to 237.9c.

Extracted in full from: Brisbane motorists paying a petrol premium compared to Sydney | The Courier Mail

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