Petrol Prices Jump 13c In 8 days


Petrol and diesel prices  have risen 5 cents per litre, the third increase in 8 days, with the price of petrol up 13 cents/litre in total since 1 March, and diesel up 18 cents/litre.

The price increases are due to a sharp climb in oil prices in the past fortnight, made worse by a drop in the NZ exchange rate.

Since mid-February, the price of oil has risen from US$103/barrel to US$117/barrel, and the AA says it will continue to climb due to the political crisis in Libya which is a major oil exporter.

According to AA PetrolWatch, the net imported cost of petrol and diesel has risen 14% in the past fortnight. Allowing for the fall in the exchange rate, that equates to an extra 16 cents per litre.

The last time oil prices were this high, in August 2008, we were paying $2.03 per litre for 91 octane – but taxes were 14 cents lower. By comparison, the price of diesel, which has no fuel excise, was $1.80 per litre, due to a higher commodity price relative to petrol at that time. At current commodity prices, the imported cost of petrol makes up about 112 cents of the price of a litre of petrol – and taxes another 88 cents (with taxes up 10c during 2010).

While fuel prices are up across most of the country, the oil companies have not raised prices in Christchurch and don’t plan to do so for the foreseeable future.

AA lists Auckland prices today  (and prices three days ago in brackets) as:

91 215.9 (March 5 210.9)

95 222.9 (3 days ago 217.9)

Diesel 159.9 (3 days ago 154.9)

How much longer will people use their cars everywhere?

In the US, share prices took a tumble as nervous investors watched the Libyan situation.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank nearly 80 points or 0.66 percent to 12,090.

Crude oil prices closed at US$106 a barrel (NZ$143) as news of pro-Gadhafi forces launching an air strike on key oil port of Ras Lanuf east of the capital Tripoli rattled investors. Investors also worry as well as the possible spread of unrest to oil-rich Saudi Arabia, which would threaten oil supplies.

An improving world economy had sent oil higher in the final three months of last year, and as we know even before the Middle East disruptions, motorists were heading towards an era of higher prices and potential oil shortages.

In the US, the White House is considering tapping the country’s strategic oil reserves. America last tapped its reserves, which hold about 727m barrels a day, in 2005 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Analysts at Deutsche Bank argue that should oil reach US$125 a barrel, (NZ$169) gasoline prices will hit $4 and cause consumer spending in the US to halve. Gasoline prices are close to a two-year high of US$3.81 a gallon, (NZ$5.16) according to the AAA, a US motoring organisation. (1 gallon is 3.7854118 litres).




  1. mark says:

    Not to worry. Next stop, lignite fuel for the masses!

    One can always fix one problem by creating another (if denying the problem doesn’t work anymore).

  2. Geoff says:

    Nothing has hindered supply, so the price rises are currently pushed by speculators. When it starts to have a negative effect on economies, the speculators will be reined in and the oil price will collapse. Same thing as 2008.

  3. Kurt says:

    The difference between oil spikes of the past and now is the spikes are lot more often and pushing prices upward faster each time.

    But who cares, lets blindly build more motorways and pretend the whole oil price thing doesn’t exist.

  4. Matt L says:

    It is no surprise that buses and trains seem pretty full at the moment and if prices continue to be around this level then the government isn’t going to look that smart continually investing in new roads as the call for PT improvement will only get louder.

  5. The Trickster says:

    I can report that Auckland roads are certainly not the usual March madness at the moment that you usually get.

    Riding around I’d say traffic volumes aren’t much higher than mid-late Jan.

    In saying that though there does seem to be far more retards driving down the bus lane. Unless you’re on two wheels, or in a bus, GTFO the bus lane.

  6. Matt says:

    Trickster, Main Highway and GSR around Ellerslie/Greenlane still look just as bad/mad, and I cannot say that the motorway is any better in either peak.

    If we see petrol breaking through $2.5/L, though, I’m expecting that trains will start looking like buses - packed end-to-end and not stopping because there’s no room.

  7. Ian says:

    Couldn’t give a damn. The train and bus (mostly train) suit me just fine. My Subaru see way less kilometres these days. It is simply a matter of planning my day.

  8. Andrew Stevenson says:

    John Key said recently (to the effect) that while the increase in fuel prices was a shame, the government couldn’t do anything about it.

    Isn’t a substantial portion of the cost of fuel, tax - in one form or another? I’m actually comfortable with higher fuel costs (I think it has other social benefits) but isn’t is disingenuous for Mr Key to suggest they CAN’T do anything about it? Surely they COULD but they WON’T?


    Oh, Trickster… do I know you?

  9. The Trickster says:

    Matt - I’m basing that off what I’ve seen on Tamaki/Quay St. They were insanely busy for one week, then petrol shot up and its back to earlier traffic volumes. As I said though, it doesn’t stop some retards using the bus lane. I’m sure I spotted the same bloke using it today as I did yesterday. I just wish they would get a camera out there as this was blatant from by The Strand intersection right through to Countdown.

    Andrew - I don’t think you do, although it may be possible.

    I post on the Stuff blogs from time to time.

  10. Matt says:

    Courtesy of Britomart’s worse-than-useless “Trains have been delayed due to passenger action at Britomart Transport Centre” announcement I caught the 51 bus home this evening. It took fully 25 minutes to get to the hospital (we left Britomart just after 1735), 35 to get to Newmarket.
    Yes we had a bad run with lights (the sooner they fix that problem the better!), but there were also a hell of a lot of cars on the roads. Traffic seemed to be about normal, and still no sign of real improvement around home.

  11. anthony says:

    Makes me wish i lived in Perth, they have most stations on 15/20 minute frequencys, a few compleley underground stations and brand new comfortable trains.

  12. Andrew Stevenson says:

    Matt: “Trains have been delayed due to passenger action at Britomart Transport Centre”

    What was that about?

    Are you going further east than Panmure? Do you usually do a train to Panmure and then pick up a 51 from there? I’m interested to see how good that is.

  13. Luke says:

    If increased petrol prices equal decreased petrol use, then I would expect to see a shortfall in the national Land Transport Fund. I wonder how the govt will deal with this?

  14. dave s says:

    Since the rise in fuel this week, I noticed Swanson station parking and kerbside parking, the smaller Ranui, and the large Sturges Road park n ride are now full of cars. Sturges Road was usually only half used until this fuel rise. If this increase in patronage happens with one fuel spike S.J. might be wise to listen more closely the requirements of Auckland’s P.T.

  15. Matt L says:

    Dave - I catch the train from Sturges (but don’t use the park and ride) and on the train I catch alone there are now usually 50 or more people on the platform waiting to get on. It is a 6 car set and has a lot of standees by Kingsland. I have heard that the train before that which is also a 6 car set is the same and I know the train afterwards, a 4 car set, was like sardines last year so will only be worse now.

  16. GJA says:

    @andrew - The buses out east (50, 51, 680, 681, etc) do not stop at the bus stop next to the Panmure station. So if you want to catch the bus east, you either need to walk to ‘Moyes Panmure’ or into Panmure itself. If I remember correctly there is a stage difference between the two bus stops.

    Hopefully once AMETI is built (and I’ve retired…) there will be a link between the two transport modes. So for now I am driving to Panmure, even though the bus stops about 4 blocks away from my house.

    Will these guys ever stop talking and build what is required


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