Petrol prices near record


Petrol prices have jumped 11 cents and are now just 2 cents shy of the highest price ever recorded, latest figures show.

Motorists got a rude shock at the pumps over late January and early February when fuel prices soared to a six-month high.

At the end of February, petrol had reached $2.21 a litre in the main centres - just 2 cents shy of the $2.23 record.

Diesel prices rose 5 cents to finish on $1.55 a litre at most service stations, 37 cents below the record price in July 2008.

"Despite the strong exchange rate, retail prices rose sharply due to increasing commodity prices, with crude oil prices reaching their highest level since April 2012," says AA PetrolWatch spokesman Mark Stockdale.

"The last time oil prices were this high, we were paying $2.20 per litre for petrol, when the Kiwi dollar was worth 82 US cents and taxes were 2 cents lower."

According to AA PetrolWatch, the imported cost of petrol rose 11 cents per litre, and diesel 7 cents, between January 18 and February 13.

"However, at the end of February the imported cost of petrol fell nearly 4 cents per litre, and diesel 2 cents, despite a reduction in the exchange rate," Mr Stockdale said.

"At current commodity prices, the fuel companies' importer margins have risen above average, so the AA would expect retailers to cut pump prices shortly."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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