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ACCC To Watch Petrol Prices As Oil Plummets

The ACCC will monitor Australian petrol prices as international oil prices plummet, to ensure that the decrease is passed on to consumers.

In the first two months of this year, crude oil prices fell by around 20 per cent to $55 USD per barrel; international refined petrol prices also decreased by roughly the same amount.

February’s monthly average petrol prices across Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney were 141.1 cents per litre, an 8.2 per cent drop from December. Daily Brent crude oil prices crashed by another 22 per cent last Monday, which the ACCC expects will lead to a further fall in domestic petrol prices.

According to ACCC chairman Rod Sims, as Australian petrol prices are primarily influenced by international crude oil and refined petrol prices, a sustained drop in these prices should – all else being equal – lead to lower prices at the local bowser.

“We will be looking at the market very closely to determine if further sustained reductions in international prices are being passed onto consumers, and we will be publicly identifying those retailers that are not passing on reductions.

“The ACCC cannot control the petrol prices companies set, but we can call out problematic price-setting, which can influence company behaviour,” Mr Sims said.

Mr Sims added that lower oil prices are one of the few positives from current world events, and that the Australian economy needs all the help it can get.

“Hopefully, the recent break between Russia and OPEC marks the start of the waning influence of this dreadful cartel on international crude oil prices,” he said.

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