Fuel’s gold: How a row in Dubai is driving Queensland petrol prices to record high

Disagreements between Middle Eastern countries about how much oil they should produce is helping to drive south-east Queensland petrol prices to punishing highs but the RACQ says motorists are also getting a raw deal from retailers.

Jul 07, 2021, updated Jul 07, 2021
Eye-watering petrol prices, the highest since before the pandemic, are coming off the back of record oil prices

Eye-watering petrol prices, the highest since before the pandemic, are coming off the back of record oil prices

Petrol prices are now at pre-pandemic levels in Brisbane, with some motorists having to pay as much as 175.9 cents a litre on Wednesday morning. This followed an average cost of 173 cents a litre across Brisbane and the Gold Coat on Tuesday.

The eye-watering prices are coming off the back of record oil prices, partly driven by the breakdown of talks between the world’s main oil exporters on how much they will produce.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, were forced to abandon talks on Monday after the United Arab Emirates had rejected a proposed eight-month extension to output curbs.

Some OPEC+ sources said there would be no oil output increase in August, while others said a new meeting would take place in the coming days and they believed there will be a boost in August.

However, far from the negotiating table in Dubai, motorists in SEQ are being treated unfairly by retailers, according to the RACQ.

Spokeswoman Renee Smith said prices had exceeded the all-time highs motorists suffered at the end of 2019 and were caused by a “triple whammy” of a high point in the SEQ fuel price cycle, the surge in oil prices and retailers wanting to boost margins.

“During the pandemic servos had high indicative retail margins because so many people weren’t driving, so fuel sales volumes were low,” she said.

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“But now sales are back to normal the fact they’re still charging these exorbitant prices is frankly unfair.”

The RACQ’s monthly fuel price report for June revealed Brisbane motorists were paying more for petrol than in any other capital city.

Last month, Brisbane motorists paid an average of 144 cents a litre compared with Sydney on 141.2 cents a litre and Melbourne on 138.5 centres a litre.

Smith urged motorists to shop around for cheaper fuel as it encouraged retailers to keep prices down.


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