Fuel price down, more discounts to come

Petrol prices fell again today and more discounts are expected in days ahead.

Consumer advocates including the Automobile Association (AA) and Consumer NZ have repeatedly said big retailers could have dropped petrol prices further -- and one petrol company here agreed.

The plummeting global price of crude oil is largely responsible for falling prices at the pump.

At most service stations this afternoon, a litre of 91 octane cost 179.9c. Diesel was mostly 111.9c to 112.9c per litre.

Dave Bodger, Gull New Zealand general manager, said Gull had 24 sites selling diesel for less than $1 a litre this afternoon. The company average was 100.2c.

Gull's prices for 91 octane had an average price of $1.69, with a range from 160.9c to 174.9c.

He said Gull had 60 sites and the company controlled prices for three-quarters of them. Mr Bodger said motorists missed out in locations Gull was not present.

"Sometimes, we sit here and have a bit of a laugh and think, everyone can match our pricing where we are, but they can't do it elsewhere."

He said for at least three months, Gull had sold petrol for about 10c less than bigger companies.

"That give or take ten cents difference from what the others call their 'national pricing' has been pretty much the norm since October, probably even earlier."

Mr Bodger said Orakei Marina had diesel for just 89c a litre this afternoon. The most expensive Gull diesel was 108.9c.

Mr Bodger said the the best deals today were in East Auckland and a Gull station in east Rotorua.

Mark Stockdale, AA senior policy analyst, said petrol pump reductions had been relatively "miserly" compared at least to the fall in crude prices. But he said a drop of about 2c per litre was likely in days ahead.

"All things being equal, we should see another price reduction."

Mr Stockdale said Z was "leading the charge" in price reductions among major companies.

He said Gull had lower overheads than its bigger competitors. He said some of the price variations between Gull outlets "might be down to the whim of the local service station owner."

Mr Stockdale said no motorist should be paying more than $1.80 for a litre of 91, unless they were in an extremely remote location where the cost of transporting petrol was very high.

He advised motorists to "shop around" for the best price.


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