Diesel prices on the wane

Jon Condon, 21/06/2011


A partial easing in political unrest in the Middle East and weakening demand for energy products in China have contributed to lower diesel fuel prices in Australia over the past month.

Other factors behind the trend include the recent strengthening in the US currency, a withdrawal of funds from the international raw materials market, and the general slowing in the world economy, energy market analysts say.

The Australian Institute of Petroleum report for the week ending Sunday, June 19, shows a national average retail diesel price in regional areas of Australia of 151.4c/litre, down 3.2c/l on Beef Central's corresponding report last month. Some states recorded drops of more than 4c/l.

With cost of production pressures rising and livestock returns currently in decline, any savings in diesel fuel costs will be welcome relief to beef producers – particularly those in more remote regions.

State regional price figures in the most recent report ranged from 147.7c/l (Victoria), to 151.1c (Qld), 152.1c (NSW), 153.4c (WA), 154.4c (Tas) and 169.1c (NT).

As the accompanying graph shows, national prices reached a high point around 157c/l in early April, before beginning to ease in early May around the time the A$ value softened off extreme levels above US109c.

The big price rise earlier this year started around the end of February, when diesel was worth  around 140c/l – still 8 percent below where prices currently sit. Today's price is still more than 13pc above the market at the start of December.  

The AIP national regional average price is calculated as a weighted average of retail diesel fuel prices for non-metropolitan regions in each State/Territory, where the weighting is based on the number of vehicles using diesel fuel. All values are in cents per litre and are inclusive of GST.

Energy market commentators suggest there is still further downside potential in diesel fuel prices, particularly if pessimism about the global economic prospects linger. 

  • Click on the image below for a better view of recent regional Australian diesel price trends.


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