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Petrol prices drop, but regions continue to pay more: ACCC fuel report

ACCC’s first quarterly report on petrol prices shows significant price drops in capital cities.


Australia’s five largest capital cities have enjoyed plummeting petrol prices recently, but regional areas are still paying significantly more to keep their vehicles running.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) first quarterly report for 2015 on petrol prices shows the average price of petrol in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth fell by 28.1 cents per litre between June and December 2014.

The report covers the period from June to December with some data on prices to the end of January 2015.

It says the price drop in capital cities was consistent with the fall in international oil prices, but the decrease did not flow to regional areas.

“In June 2014 monthly average retail prices of petrol across regional locations in Australia was 5.4 cents per litre higher than prices in the five largest cities, close to the average for 2013-14. By December 2014 this differential had increased to 17.5 cents per litre,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims says.

“This differential remained at this level at the end of January. During January this differential increased in some of the 180 regional locations monitored by the ACCC and decreased in others.”

Sims says the ACCC anticipates the differential will narrow given that prices in capital cities began rising again this month.

The ACCC will soon begin regional market studies to determine both the size of the usual price differentials, as well as the slowness in passing through the international price falls.

The studies and the quarterly reports are part of the ACCC’s new fuel price reporting structure.

Following a directive from federal small business minister Bruce Billson, the ACCC will this year release quarterly reports on price movements and undertake at least four studies analysing price drivers in regional markets.

The ACCC’s first quarterly report also shows diesel and LPG prices have fallen, but not by as much as international prices.

Between June 2014 and January 2015 average monthly diesel prices in the five largest cities fell by 25 cents per litre and automotive LPG prices decreased by 11.9 cents per litre.

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