Cheapest ANZAC Day petrol in 11 years: CommSec's Savanth Sebastian

Cheapest ANZAC Day petrol in 11 years: CommSec's Savanth Sebastian
Cheapest ANZAC Day petrol in 11 years: CommSec's Savanth Sebastian

GUEST OBSERVER

According to the Australian Institute of Petroleum, the national average Australian price of unleaded petrol fell 3 cents per litre to 113.9 cents per litre in the week to April 24.

The national average wholesale (terminal gate) unleaded petrol price stands at 102.4 cents per litre, down 1.5 cents per litre on a week ago and still up 6.7 cents a litre on the lows set in mid-February.

The petrol figures have implications for retailers, especially petrol marketing groups.

What does it all mean?

The latest data on petrol prices confirms that - contrary to popular belief and media reports – pump prices do not tend to rise ahead of a long weekend. Motorists enjoyed the cheapest petrol ahead of ANZAC Day in 11 years, with the national average price falling by 3 cents a litre.

As always, competitive factors, the discounting cycles and variable lags between wholesale and retail prices determine how capital cities and regional centres fare. But at present the key driver of pump prices is the variations in the discounting cycle across the capital cities. In Sydney, prices have been falling for 18 days and in

Melbourne prices have been falling for almost four weeks, with petrol at around $1.08 a litre in both capital cities.

Brisbane prices have been falling for a fortnight and are closer to $1.14 a litre. Adelaide prices spiked a week ago and have started to drift lower. Adelaide motorists would benefit by holding off from filling up the family vehicle.

Not only have global oil prices eased in the past week but the Aussie dollar has held up relatively well – ensuring that any saving in regional oil prices should get passed through to the bowser within the next fortnight.

In the short term, oil production disruptions in Kuwait and speculation of a further lift in potential supply by major oil producers will keep oil markets volatile. CBA commodity analysts expect oil to potentially drift to US$30-35 a barrel in the near term.

Importantly cheap fuel continues to keep inflation contained and the Reserve Bank will keep an implicit easing bias in play over the next six months.

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Cheapest ANZAC Day petrol in 11 years: CommSec's Savanth Sebastian

What do the figures show?

Petrol prices

According to the Australian Institute of Petroleum, the national average Australian price of unleaded petrol fell 3 cents per litre to 113.9 cents per litre in the week to April 24. The metropolitan petrol price fell by 4.9 cents to 113.6 cents per litre while the regional price rose by 0.9 cents to 114.5 cents per litre.

The national average Australian price of diesel petrol fell by 0.2 cents to 111.8 cents per litre in the week to April 24. Last week the metropolitan price fell by 0.3 cents to 110.6 c/l, while the regional average price was down 0.1 cents to 112.8 c/l.

Average unleaded petrol prices across states and territories over the past week were: Sydney (down 9.3 cents to 108.5 c/l), Melbourne (down 6.2 cents to 111.5 c/l), Brisbane (down 7.8 cents to 118.9 c/l), Adelaide (up 6.7 cents to 124.4 c/l), Perth (up 1.2 cents to 111.5 c/l), Darwin (down by 0.3 cents to 115 c/l), Canberra (down 0.7 cents to 115.9 c/l) and Hobart (unchanged at 117.4 c/l).

Today the national average wholesale (terminal gate) unleaded petrol price stands at 102.4 cents per litre, down 1.5 cents per litre on a week ago and still up 6.7 cents a litre on the lows set in mid-February. The terminal gate diesel price stands today at 98.5 cents a litre, up 0.2 cents a litre over the week.

Last week the key Singapore gasoline price rose by US$1.75 or 3.2 per cent to US$56.10 a barrel. However prices eased yesterday to US$55.30 a barrel. In Australian dollar terms the Singapore gasoline price rose by $2.13 a barrel (0.2 per cent) to $72.61 a barrel or 45.7 cents a litre. Yesterday prices eased to $71.73 a barrel or 45.1 cents a litre.

MotorMouth records the following retail prices for capital cities today: Sydney 108.1c; Melbourne 107.5c; Brisbane 113.7c; Adelaide 119.4c; Perth 120.5c; Canberra 107.5c; Darwin 113.8c; Hobart 117.8c.

What is the importance of the economic data?

Weekly figures on petrol prices are compiled by ORIMA Research on behalf of the Australian Institute of Petroleum (AIP). National average retail prices are calculated as the weighted average of each State/Territory's metropolitan and non-metropolitan retail petrol prices, with the weights based on the number of registered petrol vehicles in each of these regions. AIP data for retail petrol prices is based on available market data supplied by MotorMouth.

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Cheapest ANZAC Day petrol in 11 years: CommSec's Savanth Sebastian

What are the implications for interest rates and investors?

Lower oil prices may add further downward pressure on energy stocks and increase volatility across sharemarkets. However cheap fuel is a positive for a number of sectors including transport and logistics.

Filling up the car with petrol is the single biggest weekly purchase for most families. So the savings being reaped at the petrol bowser are serving to boost discretionary spending in areas such as cafes, restaurants and takeaway outlets.

Savanth Sebastian is an economist for CommSec

Tags: 
Household Budgets Petrol

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