26 September 2023

Petrol sales found to be hot as prices hike

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has reported that petrol prices reached 14-year highs in the June quarter despite the six-month cut in fuel excise.

Fuel excise is a flat sales tax on petrol and diesel bought at the bowser.

Chair of the ACCC, Gina Cass-Gottlieb said the latest Report on the Australian petroleum market showed that in real terms (inflation adjusted) prices in the June quarter were the highest since the September quarter of 2008, and rose by 6.1 cents per litre (cpl) from the March 2022 quarter.

“This was the sixth consecutive quarter in which prices increased,” Ms Cass-Gottlieb said.

“Motorists experienced savings because of the fuel excise cut at a time of record and rising wholesale prices,” she said.

“The excise cut prevented even higher prices due to international factors, largely driven by the war in Ukraine.”

Ms Cass-Gottlieb said that from 29 September, the full fuel excise would be reinstated, translating to an extra 25.3 cpl in taxes.

She said wholesalers were expected to pass on this increase to retailers in full.

“Following the excise reintroduction, the ACCC will be monitoring wholesale and retail prices closely and will not hesitate to take action if retailers make misleading statements on price movements or if there is evidence of anti-competitive behaviour (such as price collusion),” Ms Cass-Gottlieb said.

“Motorists are reminded that prices will continue to fluctuate with changes in international prices and the exchange rate, as well as petrol price cycles in the five major capital cities,” she said.

“The ACCC will continue its weekly reporting to consumers about what is happening to fuel prices and when to find the cheapest fuel.”

The ACCC Chair said shopping around and using fuel price apps could help consumers find the cheapest petrol in their area.

She said previous research by the ACCC showed that buying at independent retailers and avoiding the top of the petrol price cycle in the five largest capital cities could save motorists “a lot of money”.

The ACCC’s 98-page June Quarter Report can be accessed at this PS News link and information about petrol price cycles at this link.

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