Australian motorists are copping the cost of volatile world oil prices, but relief could be in sight.
Drivers in Brisbane bore the brunt of record petrol prices this year with the Queensland capital the nation’s most expensive city to put fuel in the tank.
Regular unleaded cost on average 193.4 cents per litre, an NRMA analysis of 2023 petrol prices across the nation revealed.
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It was a different story for Perth which had the lowest average for regular unleaded at 183.9 cents per litre, cementing the city’s place as cheapest or second-cheapest capital since 2017.
Adelaide, which has one of the strongest concentrations of independent service stations in the country, recorded the second-cheapest price for the year at 186 cents per litre.
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Sydney’s average of 190.7 cents per litre made the harbour city the fourth-cheapest capital despite being the nation’s largest market.
Record petrol prices and a continuation of highly volatile movements in global oil prices in 2023 contributed significantly to the nation’s inflation crisis and rising interest rates.
In September petrol prices reached the highest on record in Australia.
The price of petrol spiked globally following an announcement by Saudi Arabia, Russia and OPEC to deliver sustained production cuts.
Record levels of oil production from the United States and other non-OPEC producing nations, coupled with ongoing uncertainty about the Chinese economy has helped force downward pressure on prices and delivered petrol pump relief for Australian motorists this Christmas.
NRMA spokesperson Peter Khoury said Australia’s exposure to the volatility of world oil prices was painfully apparent.
“Fuel prices — and in particular diesel — have had a negative impact on the budgets of Australian families and our nation’s economy throughout much of 2023 and only now are we starting to see some relief,” Khoury said.
“Australia’s economy runs on diesel with so much of our goods and services delivered by heavy freight. It also drives key industries like agriculture, mining and manufacturing so higher diesel prices throughout 2023 have reverberated across all sections of our society.”