Continued drops in recent months have seen petrol prices below $2 at some stations across the country.

The central North Island has enjoyed the lowest prices, with a high concentration of low-cost fuel-retailers driving prices down.

The same cannot be said for New Zealand's two biggest cities.

Auckland's regional fuel tax kept even the cheapest stations above $2 and Wellington's much anticipated Waitomo self-service station failed to push prices as low as was hoped.


While the stations selling fuel at under $2 per litre are quite spread out, the citizens of Rotorua have six to choose from.

In what has been a long-term trend, overall prices remain higher in the South Island, where only two stations have dipped below the $2 mark.

These low prices come about a year after New Zealanders faced rapidly rising price.

Between May and October last year, fuel prices rose steadily and sparked concerns among some commentators that they could breach the $3 mark.

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This did not, however, come to fruition. Fuel prices trended downward from October through January, lifting the growing concerns in a nation still overly dependent on their cars.

Following the international price of oil, the average petrol price has grown by nearly 20 cents a litre since January but this is still down from the record highs of 2018.

International data out today indicated that Kiwis could be in line for further drops in the cost of petrol as oil prices declined off the back of growing economic woes.

Analysts were calling a potential increase in oil prices due to the standoff with Iran, but the market has instead responded more markedly to signs of slowing global growth.


On Thursday, British special forces seized a super tanker off Gibraltar carrying Iranian oil to Syria, triggering a diplomatic row, but the tensions weren't enough to lift prices.

Oil was instead down for the week after plunging 4.8 per cent on Tuesday, its worst decline right after an OPEC meeting in more than four years.

While the group's Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo described the drop as an "anomaly," Bank of England Governor Mark Carney warned of dangers from rising protectionism around the world and said there could be a "widespread slowdown" that may require a major economic-policy response.

"You have these very real concerns that demand growth is weakening," Daniel Ghali, a TD Securities commodities strategist, said by phone from Toronto.

"We do think there is still a significant amount of upside risk in prices considering that Iran-US tensions are at a boil."

A decline in global oil prices should have the local impact of a drop in petrol prices. And this will have broader economic impacts.

Falling fuel prices reduce transport costs on almost all consumer goods, as well as air travel and production costs for anything made of plastic or synthetic materials.

Lower fuel prices also mean that more money is left in consumers' pockets for other spending, often stimulating the economy.

- With Bloomberg.