Petrol prices post record fall despite servos holding out on excise cut

Petrol prices have climbed for a third week in row, with some cities paying over 180 cents a litre.

Petrol prices have climbed for a third week in row, with some cities paying over 180 cents a litre. Photo: TND

Petrol prices are falling at the fastest pace on record as lower fuel taxes and easing global oil prices begin flowing through to Australian bowsers.

New data from One Big Switch and fuel savings club Ruckus Energy shows petrol prices have fallen as much as 50 cents per litre (cpl) since the federal budget handed out $3 billion in temporary fuel excise relief.

Average bowser prices have fallen between 14 cpl and 34 cpl across every capital city in the country – but at least 360 service stations are holding out on customers and have not cut their prices yet.

“We’ve seen a large portion of the excise reduction passed through to pump prices, but [there is] still probably 8 to 10 cpl to come in most capital cities,” Ruckus Energy’s Mick Jarvie said on Tuesday.

“As expected, regional areas have been slower to pass on these price reductions, so it could be another two weeks before the full impact is seen consistently across the country.”

Source: MotorMouth (click to enlarge).

Prime Minister Scott Morrison was talking up his government’s decision to halve the 44.2 cpl fuel excise during a press conference on Tuesday.

“I’m thrilled that the benefits of what we’ve done to cut fuel taxes to give people cost-of-living relief as a result of the budget has been felt right here at the bowser,” Mr Morrison said, speaking outside a petrol station.

But although bowser prices have fallen at the fastest rate on record over the past week, this will be followed by record price rises in September when the six-month reduction is due to expire.

Prices have also fallen by more than the 22.1 cpl tax cut at many servos because the tax cut has coincided with easing global oil prices flowing through to local motorists and the last part of a dip in discounting cycles.

That dip will soon turn, putting new upwards pressure on petrol prices.

“When the price cycles spike again in the cities – probably some time in the next week – it will be difficult for consumers to see the excise cut,” Mr Jarvie said.

Consumers urged to dob in servos

Meanwhile, 360 servos have still yet to reduce their prices despite the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) being tasked with monitoring the market to ensure the excise cut is passed on.

The ACCC has said it will take a few weeks for all retailers to pass on the cut because servos have to churn through their existing supplies of fuel first before selling petrol taxed at the lower rate from March 29.

One Big Switch is encouraging consumers to report petrol stations that haven’t reduced their petrol prices to the ACCC for closer investigation.

“It’s clear that some retailers are doing the right thing, but some are dragging the chain and others haven’t even budged,” One Big Switch’s Joel Gibson said on Tuesday.

“It’s up to consumers now to reward the price-cutters and to drive right past the price-inflaters. And why not report them to the ACCC while you’re at it?”

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