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Petrol over $2 for the first time since December


Rising commodity prices mean the price of 91 octane petrol has risen over $2 per litre for the first time since early December, says AA PetrolWatch.

The price of petrol rose 10 cents during April, to end the month on $2.03 per litre at most outlets. Diesel rose 9 cents to $1.29 per litre in the main centres, not including those locations discounting prices.

“Motorists will be disappointed that fuel prices have continued to rise, although there are many service stations in the North Island that are discounting prices by 20 or 30 cents per litre which means they are effectively selling it below cost,” says AA PetrolWatch spokesperson Mark Stockdale.

“Commodity prices have hit the highest levels in five months, with petrol now costing US$88 a barrel, up over US$10 a barrel this month. The last time commodity prices were this high, we were paying $2.06 per litre for petrol and $1.30 per litre for diesel, while the exchange rate was slightly higher.”

“Nevertheless, fuel company margins are at healthy levels and in the case of diesel are above average so in the AA’s view the latest 2 cent increase in diesel prices was unwarranted.

“Despite a recent NZIER report showing that fuel companies are as quick to drop prices as they are to raise them, the latest price increases have been within 24 hours of a commodity price rise and given the recent volatility in commodity prices and exchange rates, it would be fairer for fuel companies to wait two or three days to see where they settle before adjusting retail prices,” Mr Stockdale added.

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