Sharp rise in diesel fuel prices in regional areas

Beef Central, 07/02/2017

diesel fuel price Feb 17


DIESEL fuel prices across regional and rural parts of Australia have risen sharply since the start of the year.

Higher than expected demand for heating fuels in the northern hemisphere winter, better transport fuel demand in Europe, and outages in oil-producing trouble spots in the Middle East are partly to blame, fuel oil commentary suggests. The rising A$ is also contributing.

Diesel fuel remains a major input for many cattle producers in Australia, used for pumping water, generating power, and transporting livestock and inputs.

Based on the latest weekly survey conducted by the Australian Institute of Petroleum, diesel in many regional parts of Australia has lifted about 5c/litre since the start of January, and more like 9c/l since our last diesel fuel report in early December.

Nationally, the average retail price for diesel in non-metropolitan regional and rural areas currently sits at 130.8c/litre.

As the graph pictured above shows, average retail diesel prices in regional/rural areas hit a 10-year low in the early stages of last year, falling at one point to around 112c/litre in March.

Current prices are the highest seen since September 2015.

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 $180.50, about $11 more than our previous fill back in December.

Biggest price rises over the past month have been seen in Tasmania, Queensland and WA.

Regional/rural non-metro diesel prices in the latest AIP report for the week ended last Sunday, February 5 included:

  • Victoria 126.8/litre (up 5.9c/litre)
  • NSW 131c (up 7.7c)
  • Queensland 131.6c (up 8.6c)
  • WA 135.2c (up 8.7c)
  • SA 127.7c (up 8.2c)
  • TAS 136.4c (up 10.6c), and
  • NT 133c (up 6.7c).

Worth noting is the fact that this month is only the second in recent memory that the Northern Territory has not had the highest priced regional fuel in Australia, with Tasmania getting the glory.

Monthly diesel report notes:

Diesel fuelAustralian 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.


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