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Petrol Prices Fall In March Quarter

Retail petrol prices fell 8.8 per cent in the March 2001 quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand. Prices for alternative fuels, such as diesel and LPG for retail consumers, fell 16.9 per cent in the same period. However, petrol prices were still 7.5 per cent higher than in the March 2000 quarter, and alternative fuel prices were 12.3 per cent up on the levels in March 2000.

Commercial users of petrol experienced a similar drop in fuel prices. However, while diesel prices were 15.8 per cent lower than in the December 2000 quarter, they were still 20 per cent higher than in the March 2000 quarter.

Crude oil production fell 9.0 per cent to 1.19 million tonnes in the year ended March 2001. Production in the year ended March 2001 was 36.0 percent lower than in the year ended March 1994, when production peaked at 1.86 million tonnes.

Imports of crude oil increased to 4.8 million tonnes, a rise of 16.0 per cent compared with the year ended March 2000.

In the year ended March 2001, 1.8 million tonnes of diesel and 1.5 million tonnes of petrol were refined in New Zealand. This contrasts with the year ended March 1991, when 1.4 million tonnes of diesel and 1.7 million tonnes of petrol were produced.

Deliveries of diesel to resellers and commercial users in the year ended March 2001 amounted to 1.9 million tonnes. Deliveries of petrol were 2.2 million tonnes, of which 77 per cent was regular (91 octane) petrol. Supplies of premium (96 octane) petrol totalled 487,000 tonnes. Use of premium petrol has been declining, falling from 53 per cent of petrol usage in 1995 to 23 per cent of petrol usage in the year ended March 2001.

Ian Ewing DEPUTY GOVERNMENT STATISTICIAN


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