Falling commodity prices flow through to the pump

AutoTrader NZ
Published 3 September 2020

The price of 91 octane petrol at most outlets ended the month on $2.07 per litre, while diesel prices in many of the main centres fell to $1.26 per litre by the end of July. But in some locations petrol prices are below $1.90 a litre due to local competition.

“Refined commodity prices have been steadily rising since January, peaking for the year in mid-June,” says AA PetrolWatch spokesperson Mark Stockdale. “But since then they have fallen nearly 14 per cent, although much of that has been offset by the falling exchange rate which is at its lowest level in six years.”

“After pump prices last rose in mid-June, the imported cost of fuel has fallen about 8 cents per litre, allowing for the drop in the New Zealand dollar, so fuel companies could still cut retail prices further,” Mr Stockdale added.

Despite the drop in commodity prices, they are still 30 per cent higher than at their lowest point in January, while the exchange rate has fallen US12c in the last seven months.

According to AA PetrolWatch, this time last year we were paying $2.22 a litre for petrol and $1.48 a litre for diesel, when commodity prices and the Kiwi dollar was much higher. But if the exchange rate was the same today as it was then, 91 octane would be retailing for about $1.85 a litre.