Petrol prices to increase
IPSWICH motorists are being encouraged to brace themselves for further pain at the petrol bowser, with prices tipped to increase in the New Year.
According to CommSec, global oil prices and the strength of the Australian dollar are likely to contribute to increased prices.
NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury said the US economy could also play a role in raising the domestic price of petrol this year.
“Demand for oil increased leading up to Christmas, mainly because of the northern winter,” Mr Khoury said.
“They had an exceptionally cold winter in the US.
“It is hard to tell if the US economy will pick up this year.
“If demand again increases for oil in the US, we will end up paying more for fuel here.”
RACQ spokesman Joe Fitzgerald said the motoring body was expecting petrol prices to stay fairly steady in the New Year.
But he said an increased demand for oil could change that.
The likely petrol pain comes as a new report by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission found it was becoming increasingly hard to predict the cheapest day to buy fuel, with the weekly retail price cycles often moving through the week in 2010.
The ACCC report also found petrol prices hit a low of 116 cents per litre in October 2009 and a high of 130 cents in May 2010.
The average national metropolitan price hovered at just under 130 cents a litre in December.
Redbank Plains resident Robert Simich said that like many motorists, the ever-present threat of rising petrol prices was a concern.
Mr Simich said that at the moment filling up his car typically cost about $50 a fortnight.
The 23-year-old said at its highest mid-last year he was paying 150 cents per litre for premium unleaded petrol to fill up his Subaru Impreza.
Mr Simich said increased fuel costs made budgeting harder and meant he had to cut back on “everything”.
“It is getting harder to do anything,” he said.
“A lot of people can’t go away because prices are getting so high.
“It is not just fuel, it is the rising cost of groceries which go with it.”