Petrol and diesel prices as at 28 July 2020

There were a few price increases during July, totalling 6 cents per litre (cpl) for both fuels (excluding the petrol excise increase of 4cpl on 1 July), although earlier in the month diesel fell 6cpl so the net effect was diesel prices ended the month where they started. Overall commodity prices were stable during the month, and in fact the landed cost fell slightly with a modest strengthening of the exchange rate, so fuel company margins have risen but despite that margins in July are the lowest they have been all year.  

The price increases we have observed have occurred in Wellington which was a benchmark for the ‘national price’, but in reality few service stations nationwide charging this price anymore with widespread local price competition and so these price movements may not apply to the majority of the country.  

Petrol and diesel prices as at 28 July 2020
  National fuel price
91 Octane 205.9
Diesel 134.9


Previous prices as at 1 July 2020

On 1 July petrol excise tax rose, as it does usually is once a year, by 3.5 cents per litre (cpl), which with GST added makes an even 4cpl at the pump. No increase in the price of diesel though, although the Road User Charges diesel vehicles pay instead rose by an equivalent amount – 5%. While pump prices vary, at $2/litre, that means motorists are paying $1.12/litre in tax (incl. GST and the Emissions Trading Scheme levy) – or about $1.23/litre in Auckland with the Regional Fuel Tax. That means taxes make up 56-60% of the pump price, so it’s no wonder retail prices remain high even with low oil prices.

In 2008 when petrol prices first went above $2/litre, the high cost of oil then made up about $1.20/litre of the price, and taxes were nearly half that amount. Now that’s virtually been reversed – the current oil price makes up about 50c of the pump price, while taxes are about $1.10/litre (or over $1.20/litre in Auckland). The balance of the retail price covers the costs of distributing and retailing fuel. The end result is the same, with petrol prices around $2/litre, it’s just that nowadays oil prices don’t have a big impact on what we pay – instead its tax (most of which is fixed excise to fund our transport system).

Petrol and diesel prices as at 1 July 2020
  National fuel price
91 Octane 199.9
Diesel 134.9
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