Petrol price cut by 4c a litre

00:11, May 21 2012

Z Energy has cut the price of petrol by 4 cents a litre this morning, following scrutiny over margins in recent weeks.

The New Zealand owned company said easing global fuel prices and a stabilising Kiwi dollar had enabled the move.

This decrease takes Z's national prices to $2.159 per litre for 91 octane petrol, $2.239 per litre for 95 octane petrol. The price of diesel was cut by 3 cents a litre to $1.539.

Z rivals are expected to match the decrease.

In recent weeks the Automobile Association has become increasingly vocal in calling for a price drop, pointing to increased margins on fuel being reported by the Ministry of Economic Development.

Last week AA spokesman Mark Stockdale said the increased margins gave the fuel company's scope to reduce 6 cents from the pump price of petrol.

Z's retail manager Mark Forsyth, said the company was aware of recent scrutiny and comment around fuel pricing.

''We want to be straight up that we have started to see a long-overdue improvement in retail fuel margins over the last few weeks after months of pretty poor margins. We are in a highly fixed cost, low margin industry which has historically compensated for very low returns by steadily reducing investment in New Zealand's basic infrastructure.''

The price of regular unleaded petrol peaked at $2.219 last year, however it remained at that level for only a few days.

Throughout April the price of regular petrol at most stations across the country was $2.199, the highest average price for a month of all time.