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Petrol and Diesel Prices Continue to Rise

New Zealand Energy Statistics: March 2000 quarter

Retail petrol prices rose 4.5 per cent between the December 1999 and March 2000 quarters. Prices are 19.6 per cent higher compared with the March 1999 quarter and are at their highest level since March 1993, according to Statistics New Zealand figures. Diesel prices have risen 7.6 per cent between the December 1999 and March 2000 quarters, and rose 33.0 per cent compared with the March 1999 quarter. The increases reflect the continuing rise in world oil prices, compounded by the weakening value of the New Zealand Dollar.

Deliveries of diesel increased by 7.9 per cent in volume in the year ended March 2000. This increase can be partly attributed to higher manufacturing activity and increased exports of commodities.

After adjustment to remove seasonal variations, the volume of electricity generated in the March 2000 quarter was unchanged from the level recorded both in the December 1999 quarter and the March 1999 quarter. However, generation for the year ended March 2000 was down 0.5 per cent when compared with the year ended March 1999. Low water levels in the hydro storage lakes during the 1999 calendar year contributed to a reduction in hydro electricity generation, and an increased volume of electricity produced by thermal generators.

Ian Ewing

Deputy Government Statistician

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