Diesel drops ahead of Easter price rise warnings

Diesel prices drop slightly, according to fuel data, but motorists warned of hikes over the Easter break

By Brad Gardner | March 31, 2010

Diesel prices fell slightly from their national average last week, but there are claims they will skyrocket as the Easter holiday period arrives.

Terminal gate pricing data from the Australian Institute of Petroleum shows the average diesel price nationally for the week ending March 26 was 117.2 cents a litre.

Operators paid 117.6 cents a litre on average the week before, but AIP data shows the price dropping steadily between March 22 and March 26.
Melbourne was the cheapest capital city for diesel last week with an average price of 116.4 cents a litre.

Sydney started the week on 117.2 cents a litre, but the price dropped to 116.9 cents by March 26. Prices in Brisbane fell from 117 cents a litre to 116.6 by the end of the week.

Family First Senator Steve Fielding, who has been a trenchant critic of fuel companies, claims prices will be increased over Easter.

He says the average price may hit 139 cents a litre and has urged the petrol price watchdog to monitor any rises.

"There is no reason for the petrol giants to increase their prices other than pure greed," he says.

Hobart was the most expensive capital for fuel, with the price starting the week at 121.8 cents a litre before falling to 121.3 cents.

Prices in Darwin for the most of week were just over 121 cents, while Perth fell from 118.3 cents a litre on March 22 to 117.9 cents on March 26.

Adelaide ended the week on 116.9 cents a litre, a .4 of a cent fall from the price at the beginning of the week.

Fielding says the market needs more competition to bring fuel costs down.

"The PM [Prime Minister Kevin Rudd] must get tough and deliver on his promise to cut petrol prices by fixing the lack of real competition in petrol retailing," Fielding says.

AIP data is based on information provided by BP Australia, Caltex, Shell Australia and ExxonMobil, averaged across terminals and capital cities.

Trader Business Media titles ATN, Owner//Driver and ABC publish a summary of terminal gate diesel prices across key capital cities every week. To view this data, available only to subscribers, click here.

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