Average petrol prices in the June quarter 2020 fell to their lowest level in 21 years in real inflation adjusted terms as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but gross retail margins remain at record highs.
A global crude oil surplus and COVID-19 restrictions on travel and economic activity led to the lowest monthly average petrol prices on record during April 2020 in Australia’s five largest cities.
Petrol retailers should not use the current pandemic to further increase profits, which the latest ACCC petrol industry report shows have risen in recent years, and should pass on the full benefit of falling oil prices to motorists, the ACCC has said.
Weekly average international crude oil prices have decreased by around US$ 50 per barrel since the beginning of the year and this has largely flowed through to Australian wholesale petrol prices, which have decreased by around 50 cents per litre (cpl) in the same period.
The ACCC will closely monitor retail petrol price movements in Australia in the coming weeks to determine if the recent falls in international crude oil and refined petrol prices are flowing through to consumers.
This follows a decline in the price of crude oil and refined petrol since early January 2020 and, in particular, sharp falls in crude oil prices last week.
Average retail petrol prices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth fell slightly in the quarter ending September 2019, due to a drop in international oil prices and a reduction in gross retail margins.
Petrol prices would have been lower were it not for a weaker Australian dollar.