More Covid outbreaks set to keep Australian wholesale petrol prices at five-year lows

Global Covid outbreaks will keep Australian wholesale petrol prices at their lowest in more than five years, economists predict.

A year ago, before the first case of coronavirus came to Australia, petrol prices at the bowser rose to a 15-year high.

Since then, the steepest economic downturn since the 1930s Great Depression caused crude oil prices to plummet.

Global Covid outbreaks are set to keep Australian petrol prices close to the lowest levels in five years. Pictured is a Melbourne service station

Global Covid outbreaks are set to keep Australian petrol prices close to the lowest levels in five years. Pictured is a Melbourne service station

As of Tuesday, wholesale petrol prices of $1.081 a litre were close to the lowest since 2015.

Earlier this year, retail fuel prices in some suburbs fell below $1 a litre for the first time in two decades as Covid restrictions stopped motorists from using their car to visit friends or go sightseeing.

CommSec chief economist Craig James said more global coronavirus outbreaks were likely to be good news for motorists, as crude oil prices remained low.

Average unleaded prices at the bowser

SYDNEY: 123.7 cents a litre

MELBOURNE: 125.2 cents a litre

BRISBANE: 136.6 cents a litre

PERTH: 106.5 cents a litre 

ADELAIDE: 109.9 cents a litre

HOBART: 123.9 cents a litre

CANBERRA: 122.6 cents a litre

DARWIN: 115.8 cents a litre 

 Source: A CommSec/MotorMouth

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‘Globally, the coronavirus has resulted in reduced mobility and therefore reduced demand for fuel,’ he said.

Petrol prices in Australia’s biggest cities are 25 to 30 a litre cheaper than late 2019.

As of Tuesday, Sydney’s average retail unleaded price stood at $1.237 a litre while Melbourne’s equivalent unleaded price at the bowser was $1.252 a litre.

Perth had the cheapest capital city price of $1.065 a litre with Adelaide now far behind on $1.099 a litre.

A stronger Australian dollar is also helping.

The currency on Tuesday stood at close to US76c , compared with US70c during Christmas 2019.

The Nymex price of crude oil has also fallen from $US60 a barrel to $US47.60 a barrel.

‘Both the global oil price and the currency are working in favour of Aussie consumers,’ Mr James said. 

Though average petrol prices in December 2020 are low, they are still above the levels of April this year when petrol prices fell below $1 a litre in the usually-expensive Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

In some suburbs of Australia’s big cities, fuel prices fell to 75c a litre for the first time since the 1990s. 

CommSec chief economist Craig James said more global coronavirus outbreaks were likely to be good news for motorists, as crude oil prices remained low. Pictured are locals waiting to be tested for Covid on Sydney's Northern Beaches

CommSec chief economist Craig James said more global coronavirus outbreaks were likely to be good news for motorists, as crude oil prices remained low. Pictured are locals waiting to be tested for Covid on Sydney’s Northern Beaches

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