April 5, 2012

The RACQ is urging motorists to shop around for the best fuel prices when filling up at Easter.

The motoring body said drivers should pay no more than $1.50 per litre for unleaded petrol over the Easter weekend despite recent high prices.

RACQ Executive Manager Public Policy Michael Roth said the price of ULP in Brisbane peaked in April at 159.1 cents per litre, the highest daily average on record since the GFC when motorists paid 162.1 cents per litre.

“Prices should continue to fall until early next week but some fuel sites will be charging higher prices, while others will be offering cheaper fuel,” Mr Roth said.

“Motorists seeking cheaper fuel should check ourfor the latest information on outlets offering the cheapest prices.”

Mr Roth said the petrol price cycle in south-east Queensland had been volatile for the past year, making it difficult to predict the price peaks and troughs with certainty.

“In February we experienced the longest fuel price cycle on record, 15 days. In contrast the first fuel price cycle in March was only nine days.

“This was followed by a 12-day cycle and then an 11-day cycle, demonstrating the unpredictable nature of the current price cycles in Brisbane.

“This unpredictability makes it difficult for motorists to fuel up at the bottom of the cycles, putting an unwelcome strain on the household budget in this current economic climate.

“On top of this, the price of Tapis crude oil reached a four-year high of A$129 per barrel at the end of March due to tensions between Iran and the West over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, forcing the prices up around the world, including south-east Queensland.”

The RACQ’s monthly fuel report for March showed that Brisbane was again one of the most expensive capital cities in Australia in which to buy ULP.

With an average price of 150.5cpl, Brisbane was more expensive than Melbourne (145.3cpl), Adelaide (145.9cpl), Sydney (146.1cpl), Canberra (146.6cpl) and Perth (148.4cpl).

Only Hobart (153.4cpl) and Darwin (156.4cpl) were more expensive.

While the majority of Queensland regional centres were cheaper than Brisbane, they were also affected by the high crude oil prices, with ULP prices substantially higher than in the previous month.

Toowoomba had the cheapest ULP prices of the regional centres in March at 142.2cpl, but this was 3.1cpl higher than the price Toowoomba motorists paid in February.

Mr Roth said there was some good news for LPG users.

“LPG users have been paying record high prices since December due to the extreme winter in the northern hemisphere but we should see prices here reducing in the next week, by about 10 cpl, due to a drop overseas,” he said.

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