After climbing 16 cents per litre during February, petrol prices continued to rise during March before falling later in the month.
They initially rose 4 cents per litre before falling 4 cents to end the month on $1.92 per litre for 91 octane at most outlets. Diesel prices fell 2 cents in March to $1.20 per litre in the main centres.
“Despite the increases of the last few months, retail prices are still the lowest in over four years,” says AA PetrolWatch spokesperson Mark Stockdale.
“Since mid-January, the commodity price for petrol has risen nearly 30 per cent, or US$16 a barrel, while the New Zealand dollar has fallen nearly 4 cents against the US dollar. At the same time, the commodity price for diesel has risen US$9 a barrel. In that time, petrol pump prices have increased 20 cents a litre, with diesel up 13 cents per litre,” Mr Stockdale added.
The AA advises motorists to be on the lookout for lower fuel prices, with many service stations in parts of the North Island discounting prices. In some cases, 91 octane petrol is being retailed for $1.60 per litre, more than 30 cents below average.
“New Zealand does not have a single national fuel price, and with most service stations being independently-owned, the owners can set their own price. Even company-owned stations will adjust prices locally to match competition,” Mr Stockdale says.
The AA says if service stations displayed the price of premium fuels on their price boards, it would improve premium petrol price competition and consumer choice. The AA wants the government to make it mandatory for service stations to display the price of all fuels on the price boards.