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Unprecedented run of price drops

Media Release: 4 December 2008


PetrolWatch – November 2008

Unprecedented run of price drops

Pump prices continued their unprecedented run of reductions, with petrol falling six times and 29 cents during November, ending the month on $1.44 per litre. Diesel only fell 11 cents to $1.21 per litre in the main centres.

AA Senior Policy Analyst Mark Stockdale says “fuel prices continue to reflect international trends, with falling worldwide demand translating to lower crude and refined prices. But global demand for diesel is still stronger than petrol which is more price-sensitive – that’s why retail diesel prices have not fallen as much of late.”

According to AA PetrolWatch, petrol prices have fallen 75 cents since the peak in early July, with diesel down 71 cents. International refined petrol prices have dropped 57 percent since the beginning of the year, with diesel only down 35 percent.

At current prices, the average motorist will be saving about $45 per fill. That translates to nearly $800 a year for a typical 1.5-2.0 litre petrol car travelling 14,000km, or an annual saving of $520 for a small diesel.

“Petrol prices are now at their lowest point since February 2007,” says Mr Stockdale.

Crude oil prices, recently at less than US$50 a barrel, have not been this low since February 2005.

“Pump prices would be even lower if not for a substantial drop in the exchange rate. Despite that, international price reductions have been outpacing the fall in our dollar, which is why motorists continue to benefit from lower prices. How long it will continue is anyone’s guess, but Kiwi holidaymakers can expect to pay less for fuel this summer than they did last year,” says Mr Stockdale.


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