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Anon

Why has the price of fuel gone up 5 cents when the $NZ has only just slipped slightly. For the past couple of weeks it's been surfing an all-time-high, however fuel prices never seem to come down to reflect this.

We hear lots of excuses to cover the 'hike', yet nothing offered to explain why it's not been lowered during better exchange rates.

Normally I wouldn't care, but can't help feeling like our hands are tied and we're just being beaten alive.

I also support the minimum 24hr period of notice (48 would be better!) before changes. It's just absurd. And yes, I know it's been worse before.

Kit

From the "Ask Jack" archives - 24 December, 2009

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jbiddle

The following is from our Wellington office who are monitoring fuel prices on a daily basis;

International fuel prices have risen 6% since the last retail price rise on 16 October (up 16% since the start of the month). A 6% increase equates to about 3-4 cents/litre allowing for the exchange rate which rose a little but has since fallen back to where it was when the price last went up.

During the past fortnight the oil companies have been under-recovering those higher commodity costs, so a price rise was not unexpected unless the NZ$ kept climbing.

Petrol prices fell 14c during September, mostly due to the high NZ$, so its not true that they don't lower prices when the exchange rate is climbing.

Crude oil prices have breached the US$80/barrel mark for the first time since Oct 2008 - when we were paying $1.90/litre, so the high NZ$ is helping keep prices down despite the latest increase.

Don't forget also that the tax on petrol rose 3c/l at the start of the month.

The Australians trialled 24-hour notification of price changes (in WA), but this was shown to have led to higher pump prices on average than the other states (because oil companies got advance notice of what their competitors were going to do and matched it sooner), so the proposal to adopt the scheme nationally was abandoned by the federal government.

The former (Labour) Minister of Commerce considered whether such a scheme should be implemented here but on the advice of the AA and others it was rejected as anti-competitive.

For more information on fuel price trends, see www.aa.co.nz/aapetrolwatch

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