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Middle East Tension, Weak NZ$ Push Prices Up



The impact of the Middle East turmoil on world fuel prices and the plummeting NZ dollar have forced BP to lift its petrol and diesel prices this afternoon.

Petrol prices at most BP service stations in the main cities have risen by 4 cents a litre and diesel prices have increased by 7 cents a litre.

This takes BP’s prices to $1.189 for Unleaded 91 and $1.239 for Premium Unleaded. Diesel is now 92.9 cents a litre.

Crude barrel prices have soared about NZ$6 (equivalent to an increase of 5 cents per litre) since fighting broke out between the Palestinians and Israelis a week ago. Refined petrol prices quickly followed increasing by about NZ$8 a barrel (about 6 cents per litre) in the same period.

Diesel prices, which had been rising steadily for several weeks as the Northern Hemisphere stocks up for winter, have jumped to $NZ102 a barrel. When BP last increased diesel prices in August, a barrel of diesel cost NZ$95.

BP’s Managing Director Peter Griffiths said he is aware that the impact of higher prices on motorists will be great and was very reluctant to put prices up.

“We resisted lifting our prices over the past week because we hoped that the pressure would ease. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened and we have now got to the point where we can no longer carry the losses. We have been losing money on diesel for several weeks now.”

Mr Griffiths said the volatility is frustrating. “We had hoped that prices had turned the corner and were coming down. We had passed on two price decreases to motorists, but now it looks as if we are back to where we started.”

Mr Griffiths reconfirmed BP’s promise to drop prices as soon as its costs come down.


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