OUR SAY: Petrol price cycle makes no sense

WHY is there such a thing as a price cycle with petrol prices?

It was logical once, when prices went up on weekends and fell again midweek.

Unfair, but logical.

It was even understandable when the price of petrol at the bowser was connected to the price of oil.

But even that appears to no longer be a factor. Now it seems the major players - Caltex/Woolworths and Shell/Coles - make the rules up as they go along.

This week's situation on the Sunshine Coast, where prices jumped almost 30c/litre overnight simply because someone decided it was time, is a good example.

Service stations were making no money while petrol was going so cheap but why does it have to be all or nothing? Why can't petrol sit at $1.25/litre so everyone is happy, instead of wildly fluctuating?

There is no clear answer to that. Even experts such as the RACQ don't know.

And with the ACCC apparently unable to bring the petrol giants into line, it looks like we are stuck with being the hostages in a stand-off where there is only one winner.



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