Capital city petrol prices expected to dip prior to Christmas

Peter Terlato 16 December 2016 NEWS

santa christmas fuel petrol pump

Pump prices to be sleighed in the weeks before the holidays.

An analysis of the latest petrol price cycles by Australia's competition regulator has found costs at the pump have already peaked in many capital cities, with lower prices anticipated ahead of Christmas.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) forecast fuel prices across Australia's capital cities should fall, despite increasing demand.

"Sales of petrol across Australia are at their highest in the latter half of December, so the fact that prices should be decreasing, albeit from high levels, during a period of high demand will be some comfort to motorists," ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.

"As prices fall, the petrol retailers will move prices at different times, so it will pay to shop around."

Pump prices peaked in Sydney, Adelaide, and Brisbane in recent weeks, while prices have been decreasing slowly in Melbourne and are expected to continue falling.

With the exception of Perth, petrol cost cycles no longer consist of weekly price flows from high to low.

Traditionally, demand for fuel falls off right after Christmas and doesn't pick up again until late January.

Over the past few months there have been conflicting fuel price estimations and determinations.

In August, the ACCC revealed that average Aussie petrol prices were at their lowest levels since 2002.

Last month, the regulator revealed a 3.8 cent per litre drop in prices over the first quarter 2016/17.

However, in an attempt to quell record levels of oversupply, the world's largest oil-producing countries agreed to cap outputs in December, driving up barrel prices and the retail cost of fuel at the bowser.

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