The Madness that is petrol prices

You can travel two blocks in Broken Hill and the petrol price will change by 18 cents per litre.

There seems to be very little sanity or logic behind petrol prices normally but in Broken Hill, we have the joy of one service station selling petrol for 189.1, then a two-minute drive away the price goes up to 207.9 at another service station.

By now everyone is used to illogical nature where petrol prices are not always related to the barrel price going up or down.

In Broken Hill, for a number of years, petrol prices were kept about the same level at all the service stations across town.

There have been times when petrol in Yunta was cheaper than petrol in Broken Hill.

Now, with some new players in town, competition is increasing and at last, we are seeing this at the bowsers with the difference in petrol prices.

Petrol spy, a website that keeps track of petrol prices in Broken Hill and across Australia, was still reporting 191.4 at Metro in Railwaytown but a quick drive around and Metro was at 189.1, the cheapest petrol in town.

If you have a voucher or rewards card and are eligible for the four cents off, then the Woolworths Ampol is the place for you.

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Their petrol price today is 191.4 so with your rewards card it would be 187.4.

Coles Express is 198.9: again, if you have a voucher take off 4 cents.

The recent rise

The Ukraine Russian war has led to an embargo on Russian crude oil, which has seen a global price rise of crude oil which has affected the Australian petrol price.

In 1991 petrol prices were deregulated, so instead of the government setting the price for fuel, it became market-driven and open to influence from the global price.

Australia imports the majority of its petrol from Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and other countries, but only one per cent came from Russia.

According to the Latch, Australia had eight refineries 20 years ago, which produced nearly all of our petroleum needs, now we have two left.

As a country, we produce 350 barrels of crude a day, which is imported.

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A number of factors can influence the price of petrol at the pump, the price of crude oil, the level of the Australian dollar against other countries, the local price cycle and in September, the return of the full petrol tax.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) monitors the fuel price to stop gouging by sellers. It has been recognised that “the Australia Price cycles are the result of deliberate pricing policies of petrol retailers, and are not directly related to changes in wholesale costs.”

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