Aussies hit hard with record petrol prices
It’s now the fifth largest weekly expense to household budgets and there are fears it could mean a costly Christmas for those heading off on holidays.
Skyrocketing petrol prices are fast becoming one of the greatest expenses for Aussies with some services stations charging a whopping $1.94 a litre.
Spending on petrol hit a record high in November, with households shelling out $237 on average a month as supply outstrips demand as globally economies bounce back.
Nationally, the average petrol price has risen 1.7 cents to $1.66 over the past week, although Brisbane residents were hit hard with the cost exploding to $1.83 a litre on Monday.
Petrol is the fifth largest weekly expense to household budgets, according to CommSec analysis.
It’s also the largest contributor to increases to the cost of living, said NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury.
“It’s hurting families and impacting local communities and hurting the local economy as it’s an essential commodity and essential budget item for every family and I know we are hoping for some relief on prices,” he told news.com.au.
Every capital city in Australia broke the record for the average price of petrol, Mr Khoury added, with Brisbane prices particularly “brutal”.
“Brisbane doesn’t have the level of competition that you see in other cities, while Adelaide is very competitive and Sydney was more competitive than it currently is but Brisbane takes to a whole other level,” he said.
“Its price increases have almost hit $1.90 on average and are currently at $1.85, which is an absurdly high price. Brisbane has been extremely high and the other capitals weren’t great but nothing like Brisbane. Sydney’s highest got to $1.74 and others were in the $1.70s for regular unleaded.”
The Australian Bureau of Statistics found petrol prices have increased by 36 per cent since the lower costs in the middle of the Covid-19 crisis, where they scraped in at $1.10 a litre as demand fell away.
Ride share drivers have also complained that higher petrol prices are forcing them to work longer hours as their pay fails to keep up with the pace of increase.
Major oil producing nations known as the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have been capping oil output with jitters that new outbreaks of Covid-19 in countries could soften demand again, said Mr Khoury.
He added that prices are so high right now it is hard to see what relief from the skyrocketing costs would look like, although he noted that oil prices had dropped by $10 a barrel which should offer a decrease in coming weeks.
“We need to see more significant drops if we are going to see a meaningful change in bowsers and the driving force behind this is supply isn’t meeting demand and that has to be addressed,” he said.
“The US administration has been pushing for that to happen and calling on the OPEC and other countries to increase levels, but they are not listening to the US government, so we are going to have sustained problems.”
While Mr Khoury said they are waiting for announcements on supply for December and are hopeful for an increase, he warned the soaring prices could continue until Christmas.
“Obviously we don’t want to see that at a time when families areas getting in car and hopefully families are finally having a Covid-free holiday,” he said.
“NRMA research shows overwhelming that Australians are having a domestic holiday, which is important for regional economies to be boosted but an extra $1 at the bowser means a $1 less they can spend in the regions.”
Originally published as Australian petrol prices hit record high of up to $1.94 a litre
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