Fuel prices rise despite strong dollar


Petrol and diesel prices have risen for the third time in a week, despite a strong New Zealand dollar.

That means the national price for both diesel and petrol is eight cents per litre higher than it was eight days ago.

91 octane is now retailing for just under $1.85 per litre, while the national price for diesel sits at just under $1.19.

However, some fuel stations in cities like Auckland and Napier are offering discounts of more than 20 cents off the national price.

The New Zealand dollar was trading on Thursday morning at 72.50 US cents.

The Automobile Association (AA) says both crude and refined commodity prices have risen on global markets in the past couple of weeks.

It says petrol commodity prices have risen 7 cents per litre in the past fortnight, with the margin on petrol being consistently below the average for recent months.

However the AA questions whether all the rises in diesel prices are justified. It says despite the increase in the imported cost of diesel (about 6 cents per litre), "the margin on diesel remains healthy and the latest rise puts it up to 48 cents per litre compared with an average of 43.5 cents per litre over the past year".

There could be more price rises to come with US crude oil prices today closing 0.45 percent, or 21 US cents higher, at US$46.79 a barrel. The crude price influences the cost of the refined product that is imported into New Zealand.

There continue to be wide variations in prices.

On Auckland's North Shore on Wednesday both diesel and unleaded 91 were selling for up to 23 cents below the national price at some fuel stations.

This is before you factor in the various discounts obtainable through supermarket vouchers and loyalty cards.

Many fuel stations only display the price for diesel and unleaded 91 on the big price board on the forecourt. They do not display the price for 95 or 98.

Don't assume the discounts being offered for diesel and 91 are being offered for 95 and 98 as well.

You should check the price when you get to the pump.

On Wednesday one North Shore station was discounting 91 by four cents, but only discounting 95 by two cents. It is still a discount, but not quite the discount some drivers might have assumed.

Once someone gets to the pump it is unlikely they are going to decide to go somewhere else.

But the AA says if you notice one station consistently doing this you might want to look elsewhere.


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