The recent petrol price rises means builders have to pay a prime price just to keep their vehicle on the road.

    Indeed, Commsec has advised that unleaded pump prices of $1.40-$1.50 a litre “look to become the norm”

    Craig James, Chief Economist at Commsec, said “Since mid-March, [builders] have had to find at least an extra $15 a month to fill their cars up with fuel. Discretionary spending is likely to come under further pressure.

    The petrol price rises have been driven by renewed geopolitical concerns surrounding Iran, a major global oil producer. 

    By placing sanctions on Iranian oil and removing the country's almost one million barrels a day from the global market - at a time when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia are already rapidly cutting global output - Mr Trump has exacerbated concerns about supply, sending oil prices upwards.

    In addition to this, fuel prices can fluctuate due to a range of other factors, including:

    • levels of competition in different areas
    • pricing decisions by wholesalers and retailers
    • changes in international benchmark prices
    • the value of the Australian dollar relative to the US dollar

    Some builders think petrol prices increase by more than usual just before public holidays and long weekends.

    • On average, public holiday price increases are no larger than the usual price cycle increases during the year
    • These price rises may be more noticeable before holiday weekends because many motorists are making long trips and using more petrol than usual

    One thing is for sure, builders will have to be more careful about the journeys they make and where they buy their petrol.

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has named Coles Express as the nation’s highest-priced petrol retailer in a new industry report. The ACCC’s annual petrol report found prices varied by as much as 10c per litre between retailers across the country’s major cities.

    Major retailers Coles Express, BP and Caltex had the highest prices in average while independent chains such as 7-Eleven and United had lower prices than the market average

    The oil price has been forecast to potentially hit $US100 a barrel mid-next year. If the price were to hit this benchmark it would add a minimum of 21c a litre to the average Australian fuel price. 

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