Petrol and diesel prices as at 16 March 2020

Another series of price decreases late last week saw the national petrol price fall 13 cents per litre (cpl) and diesel 16cpl, with both dropping another 6cpl this Monday. In total, during March so far, the national price of petrol and diesel has fallen 34cpl. The national price of 91 octane is now below $2/litre for the first time since August 2017 (although it came close in December 2018). As ever, prices vary across NZ due to localised price competition so not all service stations may have cut prices by this much – yet. These are the sharpest falls in pump prices over a fortnight since late 2008, when oil prices also plummeted.

The international commodity price for petrol is now around US$46/barrel (and diesel US$52.50/barrel), down from US$64.50/barrel at the end of February (diesel US$67.60/barrel), and they may yet fall further.

Since the beginning of the year the landed cost of petrol (commodity price converted to NZ$) has fallen approx. 43cpl with the national pump price dropping 46cpl in that time. By contrast, the diesel landed cost has fallen 35cpl since 1 Jan and national pump prices are down 36cpl.

Petrol and diesel prices as at 16 March 2020
  National fuel price
91 Octane 194.9
Diesel 128.9


Petrol and diesel prices as at 10 March 2020

After a sharp fall in oil prices, the national price of petrol fell 11 cents per litre (cpl) in two days, with diesel down 8cpl. While the commodity price for refined fuels has also fallen, it is priced higher than the oil price, but even then it only makes up about a quarter of the pump price, which limits just how much pump prices can fall.

So far this month, the national petrol price has fallen 15cpl, and a total of 27cpl since the start of the year, while the national diesel price has only dropped 14cpl in the last 2+ months, despite similar drops in the diesel commodity price. But since the price cuts on Tuesday, the global commodity price has risen slightly, although there may still be scope for more pump price cuts, especially for diesel.

Petrol and diesel prices as at 10 March 2020
  National fuel price
91 Octane 213.9
Diesel 150.9

Previous prices as at 6 March 2020 

Commodity prices continue to fall due to falling global demand, with the commodity price for petrol now at US$62/barrel (almost double the crude oil price). After a small price drop in February, the national price for both petrol and diesel fell 4 cents per litre (cpl) on 6 March, and the signs are that international commodity prices for refined fuel will fall further in the coming days, which means we should expect further pump price cuts – although some of the drop in commodity prices is being offset by our falling exchange rate. Overall, since the start of the year the landed cost of petrol (converted to NZ$) has fallen by 16cpl, and the national price has fallen by the same amount. Whereas the imported cost of diesel has fallen by nearly 18cpl, and yet the national diesel price has only fallen by 8cpl, which is unusual.

However, we note that not all service stations have dropped their prices by the same amount as the national price, and these seem to be retailers that are charging below the national price. Although they appear to have reduced prices, but just not by 16cpl. We don’t know how these service stations determine their lower prices, but unlike the national price, it doesn’t seem to be benchmarked to the commodity price, but rather some other factors (like local price competition).    

Petrol and diesel prices as at 6 March 2020
  National fuel price
91 Octane 224.9
Diesel 158.9

Previous prices as at 21 February 2020
  National fuel price
91 Octane 228.9
Diesel 162.9



Previous post
Next post
Cars that put the fun back into driving
Read more
Three features designed to make cars tougher
Read more