Australian petrol prices are at the highest level in more than 3 years

Jason Kirk/Online USA
  • Australian petrol prices rose to the highest level since late 2014 last week.
  • Wholesale prices also jumped, suggesting there may be further pump pain for motorists to come.
  • Rising geopolitical tensions and ongoing supply cuts from OPEC and non-OPEC producers are placing upward pressure on oil prices at present.

Australian petrol prices have hit the highest level in more than three years.

According to Commsec, citing data from Australian Institute of Petroleum (AIP), the average price for unleaded petrol rose by 5 cents to 146.6 cents a litre last week, leaving it at a level not seen since late 2014.

Source: Commsec

The AIP said metropolitan prices rose by 6.2 cents to 146.4 cents per litre, outpacing a 2.3 cent increase in regional prices to 146.9 cents per litre.

As of today, Commsec says the national average wholesale unleaded petrol price stands at 129.2 cents a litre, up 0.8 cents on a week earlier. With retail prices rising faster than wholesale costs, it says gross retail margins rose from 13.2 cents to 17.4 cents last week.

And the bad news for motorists is that retail petrol prices are likely to rise even further.

In Australian dollar terms, Commsec says Singapore gasoline prices — where much of Australia’s petrol is sourced — increased by $5.04, or 4.7%, to $111.60 a barrel last week.

Excluding the impact of individual petrol price cycles across the nations capitals, that suggests retail prices may lift further in the coming weeks.

Commsec says rising geopolitical risks in the Middle East, along with supply outages in Venezuela and Angola and ongoing supply cuts from OPEC and non-OPEC producers, are placing upward pressure on oil prices at present.

Brent crude oil futures — the global crude benchmark — have rallied 180% since hitting a more-than-decade low of $27 a barrel in early 2016.

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