Petrol price rise boils blood of The Bulletin readers

THE good times didn't last long for Rockhampton motorists who saw the low fuel prices at the beginning of the year quickly evaporate.

Those prices are now just a distant memory following the biggest quarterly rise of the past 25 years, according to a report by CommSec.

The rise has been enough to drive plenty of The Morning Bulletin's online users mad yesterday.

Figures from the Australian Institute of Petroleum show earlier in the year motorists were paying about $1.20 for a litre of unleaded.

Yesterday it was closer to $1.47.

Concerned driving instructor Leyland Barnett.
Concerned driving instructor Leyland Barnett. ALLAN REINIKKA AR--

Leyland, 49, said if regional prices were to increase it would mean he'd be spending more than $250 a week on fuel.

"If the prices of fuel were to continue to increase it would be so disheartening and a major worry for families," he said.

"To increase by 30c per litre (since February) is a considerable amount and a major fuel expense which has a flow-on effect with everything else that we purchase. Considering we've been slugged with high electricity charges and wages haven't gone up, an increased price of fuel is putting a lot of pressure on local business and people are struggling.

"I use the higher-octane fuel as I get better mileage with that fuel and it's normally around $1.65 which is a contributing factor of the cost of driving lessons."

RACQ's Renee Smith told The Morning Bulletin yesterday that the reason the price of fuel had increased since January was due to the major collapse in the global oil price, which was a one-off circumstance.

"In January the prices of unleaded fuel in Australia fell dramatically due to the breakdown in the global oil price but that was just an unusual month at the bowser and a one-off experience," she said.

"We don't expect prices to go that low anytime soon but wouldn't expect prices to increase any further in the short-term in Rockhampton either. Rockhampton prices are at an average of $1.47 unleaded, which is about three cents a litre overpriced.

"It's encouraged for Rocky motorists to keep an eye out for anyone selling unleaded for $1.44 or less because that's a fair deal, although it appears most of the stations are keeping their prices at a similar level, but it is worth shopping around."

CommSec chief economist Craig James said pump prices were set to rise a little further in coming weeks, based on higher Singapore gasoline prices and domestic wholesale petrol prices.

"The key unknowns are how many families adjusted their budgets to the lower petrol prices operating earlier this year and how many are still working on the higher pump prices in operation over 2014," he said.

"After falling by 12.2% in the March quarter, the petrol price is currently up by 13.1% in the June quarter, boosting the economy-wide inflation rate by 0.4-0.5 percentage points in the quarter. Petrol is on track to the biggest quarterly increase since December quarter 1990."

BAD NEWS: Fuel prices are going up, up, up.

Posted by The Morning Bulletin on Thursday, June 18, 2015

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