Why petrol prices have soared to the highest level in FIVE months in time for the Easter school holidays

  • Average Australian unleaded prices rose by 3.5 cents a litre during past week
  • Sydney and Brisbane service stations are now selling fuel for 160 cents a litre
  • CommSec blamed highest prices in five months on global crude oil increases

Motorists are paying the highest petrol prices in five months in time for the Easter school holidays.

Average Australian unleaded prices have soared by 3.5 cents during the past week, hitting 144.5 cents a litre for the first time since mid-November.

Sydney and Brisbane fuel prices at some service stations have surged even higher to 160 cents a litre, as of Monday afternoon, following the end of the discounting cycle.

CommSec senior economist Ryan Felsman said a rise in global crude oil prices for six consecutive weeks was to blame.

‘The school holidays are underway with the Easter-Anzac Day block of public holidays encouraging most Aussies to take some extended time off,’ he said.

‘Those who have hit the road would’ve noticed that petrol prices have lifted.’

Metropolitan petrol prices have risen by 4.9 cents to 145.3 cents per litre during the past week as regional bower prices increased by 0.7 cents to 142.8 cents a litre.

Last week, the key Singapore Tapis price of crude oil rose by US$5.80 or 7.5 per cent, to a six-month high of US$82.90 a barrel.

In Australian dollar terms, that equated to an increase of $8.03 or 7.4 per cent to $116.24 a barrel or 73.10 cents a litre, Mr Felsman said.

As of Monday, Motor Mouth data showed Sydney’s average unleaded price at 149.5 cents a litre, compared with 152.3 cents for Melbourne, 157.6 cents for Brisbane, 156.2 cents for Adelaide, 135.1 cents for Perth, 144.1 cents for Canberra, 138 cents for Darwin and 147.7 cents for Hobart.

Global crude oil prices have risen for six consecutive weeks, after the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia cut oil production, pushing up prices by 40 per cent in 2019.

Mr Felsman, however, said petrol prices could retreat in the second half of 2019 as Russia withdrew from its supply-reduction pact with Saudi Arabia, and the United States increased production activity.

Extracted from Dailymail