Fuel margins higher in 2015

The ACCC’s fourth quarterly report into the Australian petroleum industry for 2015 shows margins have increased. The report examines petrol prices up to September 2015.

The average retail petrol price in the five largest cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth) was 133.2 cents per litre (cpl) in the September quarter, down 2.6cpl from the June quarter (135.8cpl). The decrease followed falls in international crude oil and refined petrol prices.

International prices decreased during the quarter due to a rise in crude oil supplies in global markets.

The AUD–USD exchange rate also fell by nine per cent during the quarter, from US$0.77 to US$0.70.

“Retail petrol prices did not fall by as much as international prices, in part due to a weaker Australian dollar,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

“The exchange rate can have a huge impact on prices at the pump. For instance, if the AUD-USD exchange rate was at the same level as it was in January 2013 (US$1.05), retail petrol prices in the September quarter of 2015 would have been around 20cpl lower.”

The report also shows that gross retail margins in the September quarter were at their highest level since the ACCC began monitoring in 2002. Sydney and Brisbane had the highest gross retail margins in the September quarter, at around 14cpl.

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