COVID-19 slowdown means cheaper fuel

Victorians are reaping the benefits of cheaper fuel prices as a result of falling wholesale oil prices in the wake of COVID-19, according to RACV.

New RACV data shows world crude oil prices have tumbled following a downturn in manufacturing and global air travel as a result of the virus.

RACV Senior Vehicle Engineer Nicholas Platt said the drop in demand, and subsequent oversupply, has seen the wholesale price of petrol in Australia fall to its lowest level since February last year.

“This fall has led to an unlikely benefit for motorists with the average price of unleaded petrol in Melbourne currently selling for just over $1.27 per litre, the lowest price so far this year,” Mr Platt said.

“While these prices are low, RACV believes that there is still sufficient margin for retailers to maintain these prices and no reason for prices to suddenly skyrocket.

“This is the biggest fall in retail petrol prices in Melbourne since October 2018, and there could be more to come.

“The figures show world oil prices fell around 14 per cent last week alone. China, the largest oil refiner in Asia and the world’s second-largest oil refiner, has already cut its output by 12%, or 600,000 barrels a day,” Mr Platt said.

“And Malaysian Tapis crude prices, the index most relevant to the Australian market has seen over $20 USD wiped off the price of a barrel since the beginning of January, leading to the lowest prices in over a year.

“The best way for Victorian motorists to make sure they’re getting the cheapest petrol prices is to use a comparison app or website, such as the RACV fuel finder and remember if prices are high top-up and wait for them to fall before filling up,” he said.

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Written by RACV Corporate Communications (03) 9790 2572
March 04, 2020