Petrol and diesel prices as at 18 May 2018

Another increase in fuel prices, the second in a week, this time led by Z, with all fuels up 4 cents per litre. This brings the ‘national’ price of 91 octane to $2.30/litre, the highest price ever recorded – in nominal terms that is; as we note below, we’ve paid much more in real terms when you adjust for inflation. Plus the tax on petrol has now broken through the $1/litre barrier. And all this before Auckland Council is due to introduce a 10cpl regional fuel tax in July, and the Government a 3-4cpl increase in petrol excise later this year.

Why have prices risen 23cpl in the last 2 months? International refined commodity prices have risen over 16% since the last price cut in February due mostly to geopolitics, while the NZ dollar has fallen nearly 5c against the US$.

Petrol and diesel prices as at 18 May 2018 
  National fuel price
91 Octane 229.9
95 Octane 238.9
Diesel 164.9


Petrol and diesel prices as at 14 May

Fuel prices rose another 3 cents per litre on Monday, the seventh consecutive increase in a row, totalling 19cpl since late March. Needless to say rising commodity prices are at the highest since late 2014, while the NZ$ has fallen a bit further. The last time commodity prices were this high, 91 octane petrol cost $2.139/litre and diesel $143.9/litre, but the NZ$ was worth much more then, thus reducing the landed cost, while the Emissions Trading Scheme levy has since risen 4cpl.

The increase brings the price of 91 octane petrol to within a whisker of the highest price ever recorded of $2.269/litre in July 2013. Not the highest price in real terms however – that was the equivalent of $2.60/litre in mid-1985 adjusted to today’s prices (based on MBIE data which only goes back to 1983). That’s all the more remarkable when you consider fuel taxes were lower then, but the market was still regulated, and those high prices came off the back of the former Governments price controls (they fell significantly in the following year).


Petrol and diesel prices as at 14 May 
  National fuel price
91 Octane 225.9
95 Octane 234.9
Diesel 160.9


Petrol and diesel prices as at 10 May

Fuel prices rose 5 cents per litre this week, first 2cpl on Monday and another 3cpl on Thursday. Since the last increase in late April, the landed cost of both fuels has risen about 4cpl, a combination of rising commodity prices and a falling NZ dollar. Still, a 5cpl rise is too high – the latest 3cpl increase is 1cpl higher than the increase in costs – and margins remain in the middle of the normal range we’ve come to observe.

The latest rise brings the nominal national price for 91 octane to $2.23/litre and diesel $1.58/litre – the highest petrol price since July 2014 (when it hit $2.24/litre), and the highest diesel price since January 2012 (still well below the high of $1.92/litre in July 2008). Needless to say, many service stations are displaying prices below the national price.


Petrol and diesel prices as at 10 May 
  National fuel price
91 Octane 222.9
95 Octane 231.9
Diesel 157.9


Previous prices as at 27 April
  National fuel price
91 Octane 217.9
95 Octane 226.9
Diesel 152.9
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