Retail petrol prices in New Zealand are expected to increase to as much as $3.50 per litre for 91 octane by Christmas. The rise in oil prices and a weak New Zealand dollar are putting pressure on petrol prices. The closure of the Marsden Refinery has also contributed to the increase in fuel prices. Unprocessed Brent crude prices rose to $95.00 a barrel overnight, the highest level this year.
According to AA principal motoring affairs policy advisor Terry Collins, premium grades of petrol are already priced above $3.50 in some locations. The average price for 91 octane is currently around $3.12, and it is expected to exceed $3.20 within the next couple of weeks. By Christmas, petrol prices could be closer to $3.50 than $3.
The supply deficit in the oil market is expected to continue through the last quarter of the year. Saudi Arabia and Russia, two of the world’s largest oil producers, have extended supply cuts, and most other members of the OPEC+ group are also reducing output. This limited supply, along with the increase in refining costs due to limited global capacity, will affect the production of aviation fuel as well.
Collins warned that air travel prices are unlikely to decrease due to the rising fuel prices. In addition to the higher petrol prices, the government has reinstated the fuel tax and full-priced public transport fares from July 1. The temporary reduction of fuel excise duty and road user charges by 25 cents a litre, which was introduced in March 2022, has now ended.
– AA principal motoring affairs policy advisor Terry Collins