With Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane all reaching record-high petrol prices on Monday and then again yesterday (18 and 19 October), the NRMA has told Canberra residents to expect a steady price growth over the next few weeks, but “we shouldn’t see Canberra’s prices reach Sydney’s today”, according to NRMA spokesperson Peter Khoury.
Sydney reached an average price for regular unleaded of over $1.72 per litre yesterday, while Melbourne reached $1.79 per litre and Brisbane is at a peak price nationwide of $1.80 per litre.
The ACT’s average price per litre of unleaded sits comfortably below the other three eastern capital cities at $1.62 per litre.
As per the Australian Institute of Petroleum’s Weekly Petrol Prices Report for October 11-17, petrol prices rose by as much as 13.9 cents a litre in Brisbane in one week. The ACT recorded an average increase of 0.9 cents.
Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney have consistent price cycles for petrol and they are currently at the top of their cycles. By comparison, Canberra has no cycle, meaning fewer price fluctuations. Instead, the rising fuel price is driven by a shortage in the supply of oil which is affecting prices all over the world.
“What we often see in Canberra is a gradual reaction to what happens globally,” said Mr Khoury.
While Canberra is unlikely to reach the same price-highs, Mr Khoury believes that the average price of petrol Territory-wide will stay above the $1.60 mark for the immediate future.
The governing body for petroleum exporting countries, OPEC, determined it would not increase oil production in October but has yet to announce its production levels for November.
The ACT and Victoria are the only two regions that do not provide real-time, publicly accessible price data. Mr Khoury called on the ACT Government to enforce this technology in the Territory.
The ACT’s petrol prices have stayed relatively low since April 2020 when Chief Minister Andrew Barr threatened retailers with a cap on petrol pricing and reached out to the chairman Australian Competition and Consumer Commission seeking an investigation into the disparity of petrol prices in the ACT in comparison with other major Australian cities.