City offers sharpest prices as fuel plunges
Petrol prices dropped again yesterday taking the cost of unleaded 91 in Hamilton, New Zealand's "sharpest" market, to $1.899 at some stations.
That's 29 cents a litre less than the peak of $2.189 some retailers charged in May.
The last time drivers enjoyed prices consistently below $2 a litre was in late 2010.
For taxi driver and married father-of-three Nair Madhwan, 60, it means an extra $50 to spend each week, considering his daily commute from Tokoroa.
He always fills up at the Mobil in Frankton because, "It's cheaper, man."
Mobil Frankton dropped the price of 91 to $1.899 at 11.35am yesterday but a short drive over the Massey-Hall overbridge and BP was still charging $1.969.
"The drop is important because life is hard to survive nowadays – everything is dear," Mr Madhwan said.
"I'd like to see everybody do this. Why can't the others do it? Maybe they're a bit greedy, I don't know."
Nearby, the unmanned Gull station on Norton Rd was also charging $1.899.
Mobil spokesman Alan Bailey, in Melbourne, said Hamilton appeared to be the lowest-priced market in the country at present.
"We don't have a particular view that Hamilton should be cheaper than anywhere else but if there is price setting in the market that is lower than ours we endeavour to match that to compete," he said.
"Gull certainly can be an aggressive competitor when it comes to pricing. We certainly monitor what they're doing and if they have a site near ours we endeavour to match that."
Melville housewife Trudy Smith, 39, was filling up her husband's 1997 Ford Falcon at Frankton Mobil yesterday.
Filling up had cost about $120 during price peaks.
"I love it that it's coming down, especially when we've got a big engine," she said.
"We always fill up here or at Gull. When I saw the price today I thought I have to get some gas. Hopefully it goes down even more."
Retired Nawton resident Dave Maisey, 85, said the lowering cost of fuel should affect food prices, too.
"When petrol was up really high the food markets said they had to put prices up, on account of the cartage costs, but I'm sure they won't bring it down again."
The 3c drop was because of falling commodity prices and a strong New Zealand dollar. Brent crude was down to US$90.98 a barrel yesterday, from US$92.33 on Thursday.
BP managing director Matt Elliott said such regular and consecutive price drops had not been seen in New Zealand since 2008.
AT THE PUMPS
Petrol prices in Hamilton at 3pm yesterday:
Z Energy Greenwood St: 91 - $1.966, 95 - $2.049, diesel - $1.409.BP
Greenwood St: 91 - $1.966, 95 - $2.129, diesel - $1.419.
Mobil Hall St: 91- $1.899, 95 - $1.979, diesel - $1.339.
Gull Norton Rd: 91 - $1.899, 95 - $2.029, diesel - $1.339.
Caltex Avalon Dr: 91 - $1.939, 95 - $2.099, diesel $1.439.
- © Fairfax NZ News