AFTER experiencing a rally since early May, regional and rural diesel fuel prices across Australia have again trended lower over the past six weeks, averaging 118.6c/litre retail on Sunday.
That price has fallen up to 6c/litre since our previous monthly diesel report in mid-July.
The International Energy Agency says crude oil prices eased to around $45 barrel in August as a global supply overhang continued, and international demand growth weakened.
As the graph pictured above shows, retail diesel prices in regional/rural areas hit a 14-year low in March at around 112c/litre, but prices now appear unlikely to return to that level, the IEA says.
Beef Central’s regular diesel fuel price report is based on the latest Australian Institute of Petroleum weekly survey, conducted on August 21.
Biggest falls over the past month were seen in Queensland, NSW and South Australia.
Based on current average diesel prices for regional/rural areas of Australia, filling a Toyota Landcruiser 200 series (138 litres, main and auxiliary tanks) today would cost $143.50 – still $35 cheaper than the same fill in November last year.
Regional/rural non-metro diesel prices in the latest AIP report for the week ended last Sunday, August 21 included:
- Victoria 117c.5/litre (down 2.4c since mid-July)
- NSW 118.6cc (down 4.1c)
- Queensland 118.9c (down 6c)
- WA 121.9c (down 3.1c)
- SA 114.3c (down 4.7c)
- TAS 122.1c (down 2.5c), and
- NT 125.9c (down 1.4c).
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission yesterday highlighted that retail margins on fuel are currently at their highest levels seen, despite the generally low petrol and diesel prices at retail.
ACCC’s latest report on the Australian petroleum industry shows that average petrol prices in 2015–16 were at their lowest levels since 2002. However, gross retail margins also increased to their highest levels, indicating that the full benefits of lower international crude oil and refined petrol prices are not being passed on to end-users.
The average price for petrol in the five largest cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth) in 2015–16 was 121.7c/l. This was the lowest annual average since 2001–02 in real terms (adjusted for inflation). Gross retail margins, the difference between retail prices and published wholesale prices, in the five largest cities increased by 1.2 cpl on the previous quarter, and averaged 11.2c/l in 2015–16, the highest level since the ACCC began monitoring them in 2002.
“We remain concerned about the petroleum industry’s high gross retail margins, which indicate end-users are not reaping the full benefits of lower international crude oil and refined petrol prices,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
“Bowser prices for customers last year were the lowest they’ve been on average for 14 years, but this report suggests that in order for there to be more competitive pressure on retailers, consumers need to shop around and reward those offering the best-priced fuel.”
Click here to view the ACCC report.
Monthly diesel report notes:
Australian Institute of Petroleum’s reported prices are calculated as a weighted average of retail diesel fuel for non-metro regions in each state/territory. All values include GST.
Variation in fuel prices can have a considerable impact of cost of production across the Australian beef industry, impacting on livestock transport, cost of shipping in live cattle and boxed beef exports, pumping stock water and providing station electricity in remote locations.
Crude oil, diesel and petrol prices are closely linked, as the price of crude oil accounts for the majority of the cost of producing a litre of petrol or diesel. Crude oil is purchased in US$, meaning that changes in the value of the A$ against the US have a direct impact on the relative price of crude oil in A$ terms.