While the rising price of fuel has been a hot political topic for several years, it seems that prices are only getting worse.
According to fuel price tracking app Gaspy, Kiwi petrol prices are more expensive now than they’ve ever been before. It claims that the current average price for 91-octane fuel is $2.39 per litre.
The price of fuel previously peaked at $2.37 in 2018. By mid-2019 it had stabilised at approximately $2.20 per litre, before plummeting to a low of $1.80 during the first Covid-19 Level 4 lockdown.
Since late 2020, it’s steadily risen with little resistance.
It had been speculated that petrol prices might actually come down soon. The government’s Fuel Industry Bill came into effect in August, allowing for more flexibility among independents and greater competition across the different companies.
That said, Waitomo managing director Jimmy Ormsby said at the time that the changes weren’t a silver bullet to rising prices. Fuel companies are also battling an unstable dollar and rising prices for crude oil overseas.
According to a report from the Financial Times this week, the US oil benchmark recently hit a seven-year high. The UK, meanwhile, was devastated this month by a petrol shortage caused by fears of a lack of supply.
“I think it’s a really bad time,” Automobile Association motoring affairs general manager Mike Noon told RNZ earlier today.
“It seems to come out of Opec. There hasn’t been the supply that was expected to be coming out of Opec, and of course all these countries around the world, the economic rebound coming out of Covid has been really strong. So there’s a really high demand, not only just on petrol.
“We buy crude oil and refined product in United States dollars. Our dollar against the US dollar — it’s been volatile and it’s nowhere near what it used to be a few years ago. Not only is the raw material increasing in price, but the money we are using to buy it has a little bit less value.”