Petrol and diesel price review: 30 July 2013
Fuel prices fell 2 cents per litre on 30 July. Since commodity prices peaked in mid-July, the imported cost of petrol has fallen 6 cents per litre, helped by the NZ dollar gaining 2 cents against the US dollar.
The landed cost of diesel has fallen about 3c, but retail prices have fallen 4c in the past week because diesel margins (retail price less costs) are at the high end of the range, and higher than petrol margins. At current commodity prices, retail prices could yet fall further.
Petrol and diesel prices as at 30 July
Petrol and diesel price review: 25 July 2013
After two months of rising prices, with petrol reaching all-time highs, fuel prices have finally fallen with Z leading a price cut of 4 cents per litre on petrol, and 2c on diesel. The reduction is due to moderate falls in commodity prices, and a gain in the Kiwi dollar which has hit US$0.80 for the first time in over a month, improvements which Z have been quick to pass on.
Even with the cut in diesel prices, the AA says they are still too high relative to petrol. The exchange rate notwithstanding, the outlook for petrol commodity prices is good with increased refinery production, and easing global demand as the summer driving season in the northern hemisphere passes – but global diesel supply is still tight.
Petrol and diesel prices as at 25 July
Petrol and diesel price review: 11 July 2013
The price of petrol has now reached an all-time high, with BP raising pump prices 4 cents per litre, and diesel 3cpl on 11 July. Diesel prices are still well below the July 2008 high of $1.92/litre because diesel commodity prices were higher then. So were petrol commodity prices, but retail prices are higher today because tax on petrol has risen 17cpl since 2008 (whereas there is no tax on diesel except GST).
Since the last retail price rise on 3 July, commodity prices have risen further, up US$5/barrel for petrol although diesel is only up US$1/barrel. But the Kiwi$ has also increased slightly, and the AA’s analysis shows that since last Wednesday, the imported cost of petrol has only risen 2.7 cents per litre (while petrol margins are only down 2c), with no increase in the cost of importing diesel (and no decrease in diesel margins). With signs that the NZ exchange rate is recovering (now over US$0.79), we say the latest increase is too much, too soon.
The price of petrol has never been this high before in nominal terms, the last record high being $2.23/litre in August 2012, and $2.19/litre in July 2008. But in real terms, motorists have paid more for petrol. Back in December 1984 the price of petrol reached 84 cents per litre, which adjusted to 2012 prices would be $2.42/litre (and diesel $1.92/litre). In terms of affordability, fuel cost a lot more in during 1984-85 than it does today (and throughout much of the early 1980s was over $2 a litre in real terms).
Petrol and diesel prices as at 11 July
Petrol and diesel price review: 4 July 2013
Not a good week for motorists, with petrol prices rising 7 cents per litre in the space of two days. Petrol prices rose 3 cents per litre on 1 July with the scheduled increase in excise (excl. diesel), and then Z led a 4cpl increase in petrol and diesel prices on 3 July. The price of 91 octane now matches the record high of August 2012, although diesel prices are still well below the July 2008 high of $1.92/litre.
The AA says raising pump prices so soon after the tax rise is not a good look for fuel companies. We also see no justification for a 4cpl increase. Commodity prices have barely changed in a fortnight, and although the NZ dollar fell through May and June, it has remained fairly steady at US$0.78 for the past fortnight. In other words, the imported cost of fuel has not risen recently, and importer margins (retail price less costs) are in the middle of the normal range. Worse, the imported cost of diesel fell slightly on 2 July, so if anything diesel prices should be going down not up. We note margins were about 2cpl higher prior to the import cost increase that led to the last increase on 7 June. Since then, commodity prices and exchange rates have been stable. At worst, fuel companies could argue that prices needed to rise another 2cpl to restore those earlier margins (which were at the top of the range). But in the AA’s view, not even a 2cpl price increase was justified, let alone the 4cpl rise on 3 July.
Petrol and diesel prices as at 3 July
Previous price as at 7 June