Since early January 2020 there has been a decline in the price of crude oil and refined petrol, in particular, sharp falls in crude oil prices last week.
ACCC say that they will closely monitor retail petrol prices movements in Australia in the coming weeks to determine if the recent falls in international crude oil and refined petrol prices are flowing through to consumers.
Weekly average crude oil prices decreased by around US$14 per barrel (or around 20 cents) in the first two months of 2020 to around US$55 per barrel.
In February 2020 monthly average retail petrol prices in the five largest cities, namely Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney were 141.1 cents per litre (cpl), which was around 8.2 cpl lower than in December 2019.
“Australian petrol prices are primarily determined by international crude oil and refined petrol prices,” says Chair of ACCC, Rod Sims.
“Therefore, a sustained decrease in these prices should lead, everything else being equal, to lower petrol prices at the bowser.”
“At this time the Australian economy needs all the assistance it can get, and lower world oil prices are one of the few positives from current world events.
“Hopefully, the recent break between Russia and OPEC marks the start of the waning influence of this dreadful cartel on international crude oil prices.”