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Higher dollar means petrol prices should fall

PetrolWatch – July 2011

Higher dollar means prices should fall

Fuel prices ended July one cent higher than the beginning of the month, with 91 octane closing at $2.07 per litre and diesel $1.47 per litre in the main centres.

Fuel prices increased 4 cents per litre earlier in the month but dropped 3 cents a week later on the back of a stronger exchange rate.

“Motorists have seen the value of the Kiwi dollar climb 4 cents against the US dollar during July, but since the last price drop we have not seen the full benefit of the rising dollar passed on at the pump,” says AA PetrolWatch spokesperson Mark Stockdale.

“Diesel prices in particular are too high, and even though commodity prices have risen 8 per cent during the month, the strong exchange rate has offset these increases. With the New Zealand dollar at record highs, motorists expect lower fuel prices, and at current importer margins fuel companies can afford to drop them,” Mr Stockdale added.

Australian motorists exempt from carbon tax

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has confirmed that Australia’s new carbon tax, due to be implemented in July 2012, will not apply to fuel for individual motorists because the Government believes drivers are already struggling with high fuel prices.

An A$25 a tonne carbon tax would have added about six cents a litre to the cost of fuel. In New Zealand, the Emissions Trading Scheme imposes a cost of about 3 cents per litre, but once the current two-for-one deal is lifted in 2013, this could rise to 6 cents per litre at current carbon prices.

“In Australia, the current retail price of 91 octane is under A$1.40 per litre, thanks to lower fuel taxes and a higher exchange rate. If it’s good enough for Australia to exempt fuel from a carbon tax, then it’s certainly good enough for New Zealand,” says AA PetrolWatch spokesperson Mark Stockdale.

“The AA believes that an emissions tax on fuel is unnecessary as higher fuel prices are already encouraging motorists to reduce their fuel consumption and therefore carbon dioxide emissions.”

• For more information, go to: www.aa.conz/aapetrolwatch


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