Petrol prices drop, but expected to increase before Christmas, says NRMA

Shop around for cheaper fuel prices before they rise before Christmas. Photo: Phil Hearne

Shop around for cheaper fuel prices before they rise before Christmas. Photo: Phil Hearne

Motorists are being urged to take advantage of unusually cheap petrol, with unleaded selling for 103.7 cents per litre at some stations on Monday.

Prices dropped on the weekend to below 100 cents a litre for unleaded, but those lows aren't expected to be seen again until after New Year as the global oil glut continues to suppress prices at the petrol bowser.

The average price for unleaded is 112.7 cents. Some petrol stations, though, aren't passing on savings to consumers: Highs of 135.7 cents per litre have been seen at some stations.

An oversupply of oil has sent the global oil benchmark to a six-year low.

It has triggered the worst slump in the energy sector since the 2008 world financial crisis. It cut the profits of major oil companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp and BP Plc in half while crude-rich countries such as Mexico and Russia have watched their currencies plunge and their coffers shrink.

The NRMA says prices have been trending downwards for more than two weeks, a much longer fuel cycle than average.

"It's day 16 of the current fuel cycle, which is unprecedented in recent history," said spokesman Wade O'Leary. "(That) means that the unusually low prices enjoyed over the weekend have continued into today - but these will increase soon, so if your level is low you should snap up the good value while you can."

"Cynics would also suggest the extended cycle is positioning the retailers for high prices in the lead-up to Christmas Day, so make sure you re-fuel strategically before then."

The average price for regular unleaded in Sydney was 113.8 cents per litre on Monday morning, it said in its fuel report.

The NRMA's website reported that Budget Strathfield was one of the lowest, with unleaded going for 105.7 cents per litre.

E10 is averaging 110.3 centres per litre. The lowest price on Monday was 102.9 cents per litre at Westside Petroleum in Guildford.

This story originally appeared on www.smh.com.au

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