9News Petrol Pain

Petrol Pain

Deborah Knight: If you’re looking to full up, and paying close to $1.50 a litre, you can blame a political flare up in Saudi Arabia – the world’s largest oil producer.

But there is an accusation local fuel companies are taking advantage of the situation to drive up prices, just before Christmas.

Ross Greenwood: Just what families don’t need coming into the holiday season – expensive fuel prices…but, they are here.

Unknown: I think it’s absolutely criminal, we are being ripped off compared to the rest of the world.

Unknown: Especially around Christmas time, we are getting quite angry about it because we want to go on holidays and want to buy nice gifts for our families, and that takes it away.

Ross: Prices have peaked around 149.9 cents a litre for basic unleaded as the traditional up price cycle coincides with higher world oil prices.

Geoff Trotter: They use any increase in the underlying wholesale price to increase the pump price much higher than the wholesale price which is unjustified.

Ross: Oil jumped after 32 year old Saudi Prince and 200 fellows of the business elite were arrested.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil producer, has squeezed supply.

Here, some say local fuel companies have more than made the most of those higher prices.

Geoff: They can put the price up 30 cents in 24 hours.

Ross: This price gives a real glimpse into what might happen to prices between now and Christmas, our peak driving period.

Prices are expected to fall for the next few weeks, but then – to spike again, just before Christmas…coincide or not?

But not according to one academic, who has studied the history.

David Byrne: There is no distinguished holiday effect when it comes to petrol prices cycles.

Ross: In December, Aussies use 9 percent more fuel than we do in other months. So it pays to watch and save using apps and websites. Even if at the point of half filling your tank, when prices are low.

David: You’ll save, you know, on the order of 10 to 20 per cent of your fuel costs if you consistently  buy at the bottom of the cycle.

Ross: Ross Greenwood, Nine News


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