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OPEC decision increases pressure on petrol price

Hon Jim Anderton
Deputy Prime Minister

News release


29 March 2000

OPEC decision increases pressure for petrol price drops

Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton will be closely monitoring New Zealand's petrol prices after the OPEC cartel today agreed to increase oil production targets by 6%.

He has been watching petrol prices since oil companies last week rushed to reduce prices within hours of his call for a Commerce Commission investigation into petrol pricing.

"OPEC's decision today means international oil prices are due to fall.

"Oil prices have already fallen 21 per cent since reaching a high of almost US$35 a barrel earlier this month. Yet New Zealand pump prices have only fallen by two cents a litre – or less than two per cent.

"With the outlook of further reductions in the price of crude oil, I expect to see the petrol companies dropping pump prices quickly.

"They could make a start by selling petrol to the whole country at the price they sell petrol in Tauranga where they are faced with competition from one small, independent supplier," Jim Anderton said.

ENDS

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