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Petrol price..up again

By paperboy 16 December 2005 15

I know you’ll find this hard to believe, but as the school holidays begin.. petrol prices have gone up again.

Early this week I paid 111.9 cents a litre. Today they’ve increased to 118.9

There’s been no sharp move in oil prices, so why shouldn’t we speculate that it’s profiteering.

What’s Your opinion?

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Petrol price..up again
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Mr_Shab 4:55 pm 19 Dec 05

Bulldog – the ACCC can’t do squat about price increases around public holidays. The only case in which they can intervene is when they can prove collusion to raise or fix prices. If Jim and Bob decide independantly to raise their prices around public holidays to cash in on greater traffic, the Trade Practices Act says good luck to ’em. The ACCC might be good at detecting fishy pricing, but it’s very tough to prove it, especially in the face of well organised collusion. It’s Adam Smith’s invisible hand of the market at work.

And no. That doesn’t make it fair. But hey – that’s the wonders of the free market at work for ya.

Maelinar – with successive government agendas of
deregulating everything that moves (and most things that don’t for that matter…) no government in the country is going to wave the regulation bargepole at the petrol market. Ever. Besides – the market is too unstable to regulate adequately without serious government spending. The obvious way to raise the dosh for this is, you guessed it, higher petrol excise.

A touch self-defeating, no.

Yeah – petrol pricing sucks, and it’s only going to get a whole lot worse. We will always bitch about prices (I seem to recall my folks complaining about petrol at $0.50/litre in the late ’80’s). As individually powerless consumers, the best we can do is shut up and work around the problem.

In other words, quit your bitching and buy a scooter.

Maelinar 4:11 pm 19 Dec 05

Price fixing. That’s your answer in short form…

It costs so much to get it out of the ground, so much to put it in the pump, so much to provide that pump, so much to go to the government.

Set a fixed price that everybody has to pay, and flog off any silly notion that it should be purchased for any different sum.

Given that we’ve been pulling this stuff out of the ground for a few years now, the real costs of these things should be definetly known by now. Not that I’m saying that service stations shouldn’t make a markup either, but if the price were fixed, the playing field would be level.

bulldog 3:56 pm 19 Dec 05

Mr_Shab, I don’t give a damn how often it happens, it should be squashed. Double standards set in yet again. Imagine if the tyre shops started charging more for tyres and balancing this time of year – there would be public outcry and the ACCC would be over them before you could say ‘collusion’. Tyre shops are just an example because they are also busy the time of year that petrol is ‘no longer discounted’ – however the example pertains to any and every industry. All I ask for is an even playing field for all. Imagine your indignation if ALL groceries went up by twenty percent at this time of year…

Shauno – Your point is moot, since if you charged $5 a litre I believe the others would soon follow suit, thus the attitude of ‘go somewhere else’ is just as useless then as it is now. So, humour me – what is your suggestion for a solution if you believe a free market economy is not working?

The ACCC is there to ensure we as consumers (cattle) are not stitched up too hard and too obviously. I think they are letting us down. Don’t get me wrong – everyone is entitled to make some money and earn a buck – I don’t begrudge thatm but taking advantage of peoples needs to grow ever more corpulent is akin to feeding vultures.

Thumper 2:27 pm 19 Dec 05

Someone on a oil rig probably had a sick day which has in turn led to another increase in world oil prices….

Mr_Shab 2:07 pm 19 Dec 05

Barking Toad – don’t get stuck into shauno so quickly. He’s right (if overly simplistic).

After the highs of the Katrina oil spike, big oil, refineries and service station owners worked out that the market would buy the same quantities of petrol at $1.30 a litre. That being established, there’s nothing to stop them continuing to charge $1.30 – it’s a free market after all (they’ve establised that we’re whores, they’re simply haggling…)

As for collusion. Yeah, it’s out there, but probably less than you’d think. Plus, the ACCC is suprisingly good at spotting collusion, and tends to pull out all the stops to crack down on it when it’s detected (just say the word “Cartel” around them and they start drooling). Just ask the six guys in Ballarat who went bust as a result of fines the Federal Court slugged them with after the ACCC proved collusion.

Anyway – what’s with all the whinging and righteous indignation? It’s not like this doesn’t happen EVERY FRICKIN’ YEAR!

paperboy 1:48 pm 17 Dec 05

The Canberra Times picked up the story this morning. According to the Motor Trades Association, Canberra’s prices increased because the ‘heavy’ discounting of the last few weeks came to an end. I guess it’s just a coincidence the end came as the school holidays began!

OpenYourMind 1:06 pm 17 Dec 05

Petrol pricing is a complex topic. I recommend checking out the ACCC site before posting a comment like this.

Oil futures have been falling since the Katrina spike, but in the last week they climbed back up to over $61bbl. Last night they dropped back to $58 for West Texas Intermediate. The connection between oil futures and petrol pricing is quite complex, but there is a general correlation.

Oil is still the most underpriced commodity in the world. We burn it so freely at .38c litre (a barrel of oil is 160litres).

barking toad 10:42 pm 16 Dec 05

shauno, don’t be a hippie

they all charge the same – no such thing as collusion on pricing, eh?

shauno 9:27 pm 16 Dec 05

But the thing is its a free market economy. If I owned a service station I could freely charge $5 a litre for the stuff. If you dont like it buy it from somewhere else.

Kerces 7:19 pm 16 Dec 05

Oddly enough, the price rise coincided with the last public service pay day before Christmas (which, trust me, all retailers are well aware of).

villian 4:57 pm 16 Dec 05

I saw it at 107.9 on Wednesday at calwell caltex, and its 188.9 now as well. glad i’ve still got half a tank 🙂

Kandy A 4:20 pm 16 Dec 05

according to usual riotact posts, the courts are so soft you can simply fill up and drive off without fear of punishment

colsim 2:10 pm 16 Dec 05

Yep, nothing like gettin’ fisted by the invisible hand of the market. (That’s probably why profiteering is illegal – not that anyone gets prosecuted mind)

jr 1:48 pm 16 Dec 05

And what has that got to do with the price of fish I hear you ask?

Well believe it or not it is exactly the same principle – it is the Holiday Season and fresh seafood will also skyrocket in price in the lead up to Christmas.

Profiteering is unfortunately a fundamental principle of the capitalistic and open market system. Vendors know the nature of the price elasticity and demand around Christmas so they crank the price price accordingly. If you dont like the price that is being charged then you have the choice not to buy the products.

colsim 12:43 pm 16 Dec 05

Gosh paperboy, that’s so cynical 🙂

Big Oil is our friend and loves us all.

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