Petrol prices in Perth: Motorists brace for more pain at the pump

Diesel will set a price record for the fourth consecutive day averaging 214.3 liters across Perth on Saturday, which comes amid warnings that unleaded petrol will climb to $2.40 by the half-March.

As the average cost of unleaded will fall to 210.9c a liter today, the Motor Trade Association of WA has warned that the peak of the next two-week price cycle – which falls on March 23 – is likely to bring even more pain for motorists.

Indeed, the terminal price of unleaded – what retailers pay when buying gasoline in bulk – continues to rise.

The WA terminal gate price, which fluctuates with the global oil market, rose from 178.8 cents per liter on Monday to 196.4 cents per liter on Friday.

Perth’s fortnightly price cycle is now on a downward trend, meaning motorists can expect to be temporarily protected against further increases in the wholesale price – but only until the next peak later this month -this.

“Gas stations are always about two weeks behind (in their pricing), which is why we’re saying expect $2.30 to $2.40 in the next few weeks,” said the Managing Director of MTAWA, Stephen Moir.

“During the cheap days of the cycle petrol is often sold at a loss of over 5c per litre.

“But of course on Wednesday you saw retailers go 20c above wholesale price – so margins fluctuate.”

The cheapest days of the current price cycle fall on Monday March 21 and Tuesday March 22 before another big spike likely to break records again on March 23.

The latest peak in the fortnightly cycle came on Wednesday, when unleaded petrol in Perth averaged 208.8 cents a liter – with individual outlets charging up to 228.9 cents a litre.

Figures compiled by the RAC revealed that if gasoline were to average $2.20 a liter in 2022, the average motorist would have to pay an additional $908 to keep their car on the road.

This increases to $1150 more if gasoline averaged $2.40 per liter.

Meanwhile, diesel – which rises and falls daily with much less volatility – continues to climb steadily, setting new records every day since Wednesday.

Perth’s most expensive diesel will cost 229.9c a liter on Saturday, compared to 219.9c a liter for unleaded petrol

Diesel is the main fuel for trucks hauling goods across WA and Australia, with freight companies already warning they have no choice but to pass on their rising costs, which means higher prices for everything from fresh produce to electronics.

Whether oil will remain at historically high prices will depend on the fallout from the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which has resulted in the US and UK banning imports of Russian oil .

Brent crude briefly hit US$130 a barrel earlier this week before falling back to US$110 on Friday.