Fuel prices at lowest since July

DANIEL ADAMS
Last updated 05:00 06/11/2012

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Kiwi drivers enjoying cheaper fuel are benefiting from European economic woes putting the brakes on our traditionally rising early summer prices.

Fuel prices are now sitting at their lowest since late July - 208.9 cents per litre for 91 octane, 216.9 cents for 95 octane and 152.9 cents for diesel.

But as holidays loom there's no guarantee that Waikato families fuelling up for any summer road trips will still be beaming, industry experts warn.

Automobile Association fuel price analyst Mark Stockdale said an unusual combination of international influences, and the strong kiwi dollar, are so far bucking the usual trend for end-of-year diesel and petrol price hikes.

The major motorists' advocate organisation, which last week said there was room for retail fuel price cuts, still thinks fuel companies can go further after BP yesterday led the third retail price drop in the last fortnight, quickly followed by Z and Gull.

"We're pleased fuel companies have responded and dropped prices three cents, that reflects international commodity prices and strong kiwi dollar.

"Commodity prices continue to fall, and monitoring shows the imported margin, the difference between retail price and cost, is still above average, so there's the possibility of further cuts, diesel and petrol, provided the lower commodity prices and the strength of the dollar are sustained."

"The interesting thing is that normally at this time of year prices tend to go up, we normally see commodity prices rising due to stockpiling for the northern hemisphere winter - diesel is used as a heating fuel in Europe and north America.

"That reflects lower than expected demand, concerns around the economic situation in Europe with poor signals putting downward pressure on commodity prices, and at the same time some increased supply with extra production," he said.

"But we're not complaining, let's take advantage of it while it lasts. The caveat is that we don't know how long it will."

And Hamilton man Brent Jones, who own two cars and a boat, says he will certainly notice a saving when he's filling up. "In the last month my petrol bill has been up around the $600 mark so any drop in price is going to be a big help," he said.

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- Waikato Times

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