Z Energy petrol prices went up yesterday by 4c a litre. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Global crude oil prices may have slumped this week but a
recent 4c a litre increase in the cost of refined petrol was
yesterday passed on by Z Energy.
The 4c increase did not affect diesel.
Since early November, New Zealand prices had been steady
around $2.09 for a litre of 91, $2.17 for 95 and $1.52 for
Z Energy advised the Automobile Association of yesterday's
hike. Other companies followed with an increase at the pumps.
Oil prices have slumped more than $US2 ($NZ2.46) a barrel on
fresh economic strains caused by a downgrade to France's
credit rating, and on easing Middle East supply concerns amid
hopes of an Israel-Gaza truce, analysts told AFP.
The AA's senior policy analyst, Mark Stockdale, said the same
geopolitical tensions were responsible for the 4c increase in
the refined price that was passed on by Z Energy yesterday.
"Motorists have seen refined prices stable most of the year.
Its now a 'wait and see' for motorists," he said of the
potential for other fuel company price hikes.
He highlighted that the global cost of crude oil did not
drive pump prices, but the cost of the refined petrol did.
He said northern hemisphere winter heating demands had not
yet kicked in, and demand and prices would come under
Diesel prices had not been affected globally because there
was "poor demand" for diesel, Mr Stockdale said.
West Texas light sweet crude for delivery in January slid
$US2.61 to US$96.67 a barrel, and Brent North Sea crude for
January shed US$2.30 to US$109.40 a barrel in late London
Oil prices were sliding a day after surging on fresh concern
about supplies from the crude-rich Middle East.
Oil prices had struck one-month highs on Monday after gains
of about $US2 a barrel on the Israel-Gaza violence, AFP
"Today, there's a bit more of a risk-off theme with the
French downgrade and a bit of profit-taking on the back of
yesterday's big [price] move," IG analyst Jason Hughes said.
France came under fresh economic pressure after ratings
agency Moody's cut the French government bond rating by one
notch from the highest level to "Aa1" and warned an
additional downgrade was possible.
The downgrade put France behind euro zone partners such as
Finland, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, which have
retained top AAA ratings, although they all have a negative
outlook from at least one of the three agencies.