April a good month for petrol prices

By Ben Chapman-Smith

Petrol prices have come down 12 cents a litre in the past month. Photo / NZ Herald
Petrol prices have come down 12 cents a litre in the past month. Photo / NZ Herald

Motorists should have noticed some savings at the pumps in April as petrol prices reached their lowest levels in nine months, according to the Automobile Association.

The AA said petrol prices fell 12 cents last month, with 91 octane down to $2.05 per litre in the main centres. Diesel dropped 10 cents per litre to $1.42 a litre at most service stations, the lowest price since July 2012.

This time last year, Kiwis were paying $2.20 a litre for 91 petrol and $1.57 a litre for diesel.

Mark Stockdale, AA's PetrolWatch spokesperson, said petrol prices have fallen 16 cents per litre and diesel 13 cents since mid-March.

"However, the AA's monitoring of commodity prices shows that since the last retail price increase in mid-February, the imported cost of petrol has fallen nearly 19 cents per litre, and diesel 16 cents," Stockdale said.

"That means fuel companies have not passed all of the lower costs onto motorists, although some service stations have discounted prices below $2 a litre."

Compared to a year ago, motorists buying 40 litres of petrol today would be saving about $6, he said. That equated to about $158 a year for a typical two-litre car.

"International fuel prices have been consistently falling due to lower global demand, and increased supply as refinery production comes back after shutting down for maintenance," Stockdale said.

In April, some Gull stations were offering 91 octane for $1.94 a litre at manned stations and $1.90 a litre at unmanned stations.

Stockdale said although some stations had been offering 91 below $2, that had not been widespread yet.

"Some service stations have dropped below that mark but it's not consistent. Some are above and some are below."

He predicted sub-$2 prices could soon be the norm.

"Although in the last few days oil prices have risen slightly, at current trends there is a good chance the price of 91 octane petrol will fall below $2 a litre soon, the first time since June and July last year."

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