MY MONEY

Why are we paying so much for petrol?

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The popular perception is that we are being ripped off at the pump. Our petrol price is set not by the west Texas crude standard but Singapore's MOGAS. In January that sat at about $A51 a barrel, which represented a fall of $A28 since mid-2015. The Australian dollar has fallen 6c in the period against the greenback, which suggest the price of fuel should have fallen at by 19c per litre.

That's happened. We are in a falling market with the average unleaded price in Sydney at 122c in mid January. If that downward pressure continues, $1 per litre could again be a reality in Sydney as it was at this time last year and, briefly, last month.

Myriad global factors will ensure that divining the future of oil prices is fraught. For example, the Saudis want lower prices but the Iranians - emerging from export embargoes - want the opposite. China's economy slumps. How far will our dollar fall?

petrol-prices

More tangibly, the local game has changed. After years of advocacy by the NRMA, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has acted to ensure that motorists will be instantly informed online of the latest prices in your area. Previously this information has been shared only among oil companies to the all-too-evident detriment of the motorist.

Kyle Loades, president of the National Roads and Motorists' Association

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