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AA Petrol Watch - May 2005

1 June 2005


Any benefits to motorists from lower pump prices for fuel during May have soon begun to disappear, as prices started to rise again on the last day of May.

From an average pump price of $1.29.5 cents at the beginning of May, prices moved down on four occasions to $1.18.9 cents at the end of last week. But such gains have been short-lived with prices jumping up again by four cents a litre across all companies, late on the afternoon of 31 May.

The companies are stating there is strong retail competition in the market place, but motorists continue to question is there competition, when once again all companies increase their pump price by exactly the same amount, within hours of each other.

Across the country similar patterns to previous months emerge, with variations of 6 cents or more a litre for 91 octane at more remote location compared to the pump price in main centres.

With world oil prices showing a downtrend during this month, and dropping below the $US50 barrel mark, there was the expectation that a level of stability might be achieved. However the world price has now gone back above that level which now leads to pump prices remaining increasingly volatile in the coming month. While margins in May have been much lower than in earlier months, the continuing high level of the NZ dollar, and more certainty in world prices, should have indicated pump prices remaining at the levels of the last week of May.

The message often repeated by the Association remains – check the pump price being shown on the forecourt to be certain you know the price, before filling your vehicle. Also look out for any limited special offers which may be offered as the companies seek to gain increased market share.


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