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LPG prices to remain high

Winfield resident Dave Russell is annoyed and angry that LPG prices in Bundaberg are so much higher than other places such as Brisbane. Photo: Jim Alouat / NewsMail
Winfield resident Dave Russell is annoyed and angry that LPG prices in Bundaberg are so much higher than other places such as Brisbane. Photo: Jim Alouat / NewsMail Jim Alouat

LIQUID petroleum gas (LPG) motorists in Bundaberg are feeling the pinch with high prices for users unlikely to come down anytime soon.

According to recent RACQ statistics the average Brisbane price for LPG - otherwise known as butane or propane gas - in August was 78.7 cents per litre while Bundaberg was 100.1 cents per litre.

Winfield LPG consumer Dave Russell said he was frustrated with the high discrepancy in prices between Brisbane and Bundaberg.

"Even when I was recently in the Gold Coast it was about $0.77 a litre," he said.

"It has worked out for me to be about $21 a tank for a 70 litre tank of gas and that is a big difference.

"When you need to fill up you can't just take a trip down to Brisbane to do it."

RACQ spokeswoman Renee Smith said the Bundaberg price was typical of regional areas in Queensland.

"The LPG price closely follows the international benchmark price for butane and propane," she said.

"In December 2013, the Saudi contract price spiked due to the northern winter and geo-political events and subsequently so did the price of LPG in Australia.

"LPG sales in regional areas have not recovered and retailers need to cover the same costs on smaller sales volumes thus sustaining a higher price."

Ms Smith said while Bundaberg was overpriced it was unlikely to fall until sales volumes increased.

According to RACQ data LPG consumers made up only 1% of Queensland motorists compared to 66% that use unleaded petrol, 19% that use premium unleaded, 5% that use diesel and 9% that use Ethanol 10.

"That shows us that the demand isn't there for LPG which isn't helping the situation in regional areas," she said.

"Hopefully that can change for LPG users down the track."

Wessel Petroleum general manager Paul Wessel said he had seen a significant drop in LPG usage in the Wide Bay.

"Our sites were doing about 30,000 litres a month 12 months ago and now they are down to 20,000 litres," he said.

Head of consumer fuel price comparison website MotorMouth Alan Cadd said it was important to note that in the past six months while Brisbane LPG prices had dropped Bundaberg had remained steady.

"So you have gone from about a 10 cent differential in March to about a 20 cent more recently," he said.

LPG Average prices (cpl) for August

Bundaberg 100.1

Brisbane 78.7

Childers 102.9

Emerald 95.4

Gladstone 95.1

Gympie 94.2

Hervey Bay 99.7

Topics:  lpg, racq



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