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Petrol prices reach all-time high

Media Release: 4 September 2012

PetrolWatch – August 2012

Petrol prices reach all-time high

The price of petrol reached a new record during August, with 91 octane rising to $2.23 per litre. Petrol prices rose 12 cents per litre in August, before falling 3 cents at the end of the month to finish on $2.20 per litre in the main centres, while diesel prices rose 6 cents to $1.57 per litre at most service stations.

“Petrol prices reached an all-time record during August, one cent above the previous record price in May 2011. But diesel prices are still some way off the record price of $1.92 per litre in July 2008,” says AA PetrolWatch spokesperson Mark Stockdale.

“Compared to May 2011, petrol and diesel commodity prices are slightly lower today, but fuel company margins and petrol taxes are higher, with excise rising 2 cents on the 1st of August. Since July 2008, when commodity prices were at record highs, tax on petrol has risen 14 cents per litre.

“Even so, with recent falls in petrol commodity prices, we estimate the imported cost of petrol is only up about 5 cents per litre since the start of the month. So while the price cut at the end of the month was welcome, the AA believes fuel companies should reduce petrol prices by another 3 cents,” Mr Stockdale added.

How do fuel prices compare in other countries?

With New Zealand petrol prices reaching record highs, the AA has compared fuel prices with other countries in the table below.


Regular petrol NZ$

Diesel NZ$







United Kingdom



New Zealand












Source: FIA. Prices converted to NZ$/litre as at mid-August. Prices are approximate as they vary within countries

“In spite of our high prices, it’s worth noting they are the sixth-lowest in the OECD,” says AA PetrolWatch spokesperson Mark Stockdale. “Differences in fuel prices in other countries are mostly due to the value of the domestic currency and the amount of fuel tax; in NZ our diesel prices are lower than most other countries because there is no excise on diesel, only GST.”

· For more information and a YouTube video explanation of fuel prices, go to:


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