Milko and Nadia Caputo are overseas travellers who think petrol prices are exaggerated.
Milko and Nadia Caputo are overseas travellers who think petrol prices are exaggerated.

Petrol rise hits the hip pocket

EVENTS overseas are conspiring to drive up the price Bundaberg motorists pay for their fuel at the bowser.

After several weeks at the 122.9c a litre mark, petrol this week went up to 125.9c at most Bundaberg outlets.

And while there were queues at most Bundaberg service stations yesterday as motorists lined up to fill their tanks before the new year, the price was painful for at least one tourist.

Milko Caputo, a Sicilian touring Queensland with his wife, Nadia, stopped at a service station in Takalvan Street to fill up on the way to Hervey Bay.

“Too high,” he said, shaking his head, as he was asked his opinion of the price.

But unfortunately for Mr Caputo – and the rest of the motorists filling up in Bundaberg – there is not much anybody can do.

RACQ spokeswoman Lynda Schekoske said the organisation had been warning for some time that petrol could soon hit the 130c a litre mark.

“The issue is an increase in the Singapore benchmark price and a drop in the Australian dollar,” she said.

Ms Schekoske said there was no evidence that anyone was cashing in on the festive season.

“It’s a bit of a myth that petrol prices go up ahead of long weekends and traditional holiday periods,” she said.

Ms Schekoske said petrol pricing was a relatively complicated issue.

“It’s a certain price in Singapore, but then you get all the add-ons, such as transport, wholesaler’s margin, retailer’s margin and federal tax,” she said.

There was also the issue of demand and availability.

“The Northern Hemisphere is in the middle of winter, so demand for oil is way up,” she said.

“And with the world coming out of the global financial crisis, the increasing demand by industry would serve to push up prices.”

Commsec economist Craig James said the wholesale petrol price averaged 113.1c a litre in the week ending Christmas Day, but it has rose steadily the past week.

It is all bad news for motorists, Mr James said.

“Holidaymakers that set off on driving holidays ahead of Christmas may find their return journeys will be a tad more expensive,” he said.

“But the good news is that the Aussie dollar has risen sharply over the past 14 months.

“(Otherwise) motorists would now be paying on average around 150c a litre rather than 120c a litre.”

“Demand for oil is way up.”



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