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ACCC keeps lid on fuel prices

Despite recent volatility, actual fuel prices have not risen as much as expected in the GST period from the week ended June 30 to the week ended September 29.

Fuel prices are influenced by many underlying factors.

These include international price movements, the Australian/US dollar exchange rate, Federal and State/Territory excise and taxes and discounting in the market.

Each of these factors had an effect on fuel prices over the last three months, especially rises in international prices together with the fall in the value of the Australian dollar.

The gap between city and country prices varied from one location to another and tended to narrow in the second half of the quarter. This gap will be kept under close scrutiny.

The ACCC is continuing in-depth investigations of whether or not oil companies have passed on, or pocketed, some or all of the Fuel Sales Grant Scheme intended to benefit country motorists.

The investigations involve in-depth examination of documentary material and examination of business witnesses.

It is likely to continue for some time.

The ACCC will continue to monitor and analyse movements in unleaded petrol, diesel and LPG prices across Australia.

A breakdown of prices by capital cities and by country region is included in the report, which is available on the ACCC’s website (accc.gov.au).

n Professor Allan Fels is chairman of the Australian Consumer and Competition Commision

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