'More upward pressure to come': Skyrocketing fuel prices likely to continue, experts warn

Skyrocketing fuel prices are likely to continue with the national average of 91 octane remaining at an all-time high.

Earlier this month, the national average of 91 was $2.39 per litre but in Auckland, it was as high as $2.65 on Monday morning, according to price-tracking app Gaspy.

Prices are being pushed up by international factors, the Automobile Association (AA) believes.

"The Northern Hemisphere is coming into winter - there's a gas shortage there currently and there's an energy shortage globally," AA spokesperson Terry Collins told Newshub. "China's also got a coal shortage.

"I think there's a little bit more upward pressure to come - particularly before Christmas. The shortages haven't been addressed yet.

"When COVID hit, they literally were giving away oil and then they cut production severely - by about 10 million barrels a day. They've only put about 5.8 million barrels a day [of] lost production back on again but demand is surging so I expect, at least until Christmas, there will be some price pressure." 

'More upward pressure to come': Skyrocketing fuel prices likely to continue, experts warn
Photo credit: Getty Images

He urged people heading home from their long weekend holidays to keep an eye out for cheaper prices.

"Often in Wellington, or other parts of the country, there could be [a] 30 cents difference in the price of fuel just depending on which service station you go to," Collins said.

Those cheaper prices in Wellington can be found between the CBD and Lower Hutt - where prices are as low as $2.43 per litre. That compares with the capital's most expensive price of $2.63, according to Gaspy.

In the UK, the average price of 91 is even higher - rising to NZ$2.71 last week. India hit a local record of NZ$1.99 on Friday. 

Japan's petrol prices rose to NZ$2.02 per litre last week, its highest cost in seven years. 

The average retail price of a litre of petrol in the US has risen to $3.36 per gallon (88c a litre) - about US$1 a gallon higher than this time last year. 

US President Joe Biden last week said he expected gas prices to fall next year. The United States is the world's largest gasoline market.