ACCC petrol prices report shows decrease

The ACCC’s eighth quarterly report into the petroleum industry reveals a decrease in petrol prices for the quarter ending in September.

Petrol prices in the five largest cities decreased by 3.8¢ per litre (cpl) in the quarter, to 114.2cpl. This is lower than the 118cpl of the previous quarter and 7.5cpl lower than the annual average of 121.7cpl in 2015-16.

“International factors continue to strongly influence the price at the bowser,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said. “A drop in refiner margins in the last quarter has helped to push prices down locally. Australian motorists have benefited as prices have fallen, which will be especially welcome as we move into the busy holiday period.”

The ACCC says taxes represented around 44 per cent of the retail price of petrol in Australia in the September quarter of 2016, a much lower proportion than in other developed countries.

“A global comparison has also shown that Australian prices have remained extremely competitive by international standards as a result of the relatively low rate of taxation on fuel,” Mr Sims said. “Despite these lower prices, our message to all motorists is: continue to shop around and reward those retailers offering the best-priced fuel. This will help you and also bring more competitive tension to the market.”

The report also found that as a result of the ethanol mandate, motorists in Sydney have bought significantly higher volumes of premium unleaded petrol (54 per cent of total petrol sales in 2014-15) and E10, and much lower volumes of regular unleaded petrol, than motorists in other states (where premium fuel was 23 per cent of total petrol sales in 2014-15).

Sydney motorists may have spent around $75 million to $85 million more on petrol in 2014-15 (representing 3.1cpl to 3.6cpl across all petrol sold in Sydney) due to the ethanol mandate.

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