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Oil price spikes, but Kiwis saved by the dollar

PetrolWatch – November 2010

November was a quiet month for domestic fuel prices, with the cost of petrol and diesel remaining unchanged since mid-October. The welcome reprieve was short-lived however, with pump prices increasing four cents per litre on 1 December.

That means the price of 91 octane petrol during November remained at $1.85 per litre in the main centres, with diesel on about $1.25 per litre depending on the outlet.

“The stable prices seem quite remarkable when you consider the price of oil rose over US$6 a barrel from mid-October to early November, but fortunately the impact on imported petrol and diesel fuel costs was wholly offset by a four cent gain in the New Zealand exchange rate during the same period,” says AA PetrolWatch spokesperson Mark Stockdale.

The price of oil rose to over US$88 a barrel due to a devaluing US currency, leading to a corresponding rise in commodity prices and also a rise in other currencies like the New Zealand dollar.

“The net effect was no real change in the imported cost of fuels, hence pump prices remained the same.”

“The last time oil prices were this high was in April this year, when we were paying $1.82 per litre for petrol compared to $1.85 per litre last month, but back in April taxes on petrol were 10 cents lower than they are now and the exchange rate was worth five cents less,” said Mr Stockdale.

AA PetrolWatch notes that commodity prices began falling gradually in the latter half of November, as did the exchange rate, but towards the very end of the month commodity prices started climbing again while the Kiwi dollar continued to fall, signalling a price rise at the pump.

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