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Australian petrol prices shot up in December

Australian petrol price fuel pump

Australian petrol price fuel pump

Highest quarterly average fuel price since June 2015.

Fuel prices across Australia were the highest they've been in over a year during the December quarter.

In the lead up to Christmas, experts estimated petrol prices could rise up to 8c per litre. They were right.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) quarterly petrol report found prices in the largest cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth) rose 7.8 cents per litre in December.

Retail margins (the difference in cost between retail and wholesale prices) shot up 0.9 cents per litre to 11.3 cents per litre across Australia, and was averaging 10.6 cents per litre across the five major cities.

At around $1.22 per litre, this was the highest quarterly average fuel price since the June quarter 2015.

Petrol prices in Brisbane remain the highest of the five cities. Average prices during the December quarter were around $1.25 per litre, 3.8 cents per litre higher than the average across the other capitals.

The ACCC reports the rise in costs was significantly influenced by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' (OPEC) announcement late last year to limit crude oil production and again in December by additional agreements with non-OPEC countries to further reduce production.

Price cycles in the four eastern capital cities jumped considerably in the December quarter, from an average length of seven or eight days in 2007 to an average of more than 22 days in 2016.

Additionally, the average size of the price cycle increase more than doubled, from an average hike of around 9 cents per litre in 2007 to an average of around 20 cents per litre in 2016.

With fuel prices skyrocketing, it's no wonder Australian car sales receded again in January.

Want to be rewarded for fuelling up your car? Consider a petrol rewards credit card.

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Picture: Shutterstock

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