THE lowest unleaded petrol prices since the 2011 floods gave south-east Queensland motorists some long overdue fuel price relief last month, while motorists in major regional centres paid up to 18 cents per litre more.
RACQ's latest monthly fuel price report reveals a substantial drop in retail margins in the south-east brought ULP prices down, while across the regions retail margins remained high, forcing motorists to pay 11cpl on average more than their south-east Queensland counterparts.
In Gladstone, the average price of ULP was 145.6, down 3.3 cents from the previous month, with a retail margin of 10.5cpl, compred to a margin of 4.8cpl in Brisbane.
RACQ's Joe Fitzgerald said motorists could fairly and squarely place the blame for the price disparity on the fuel retailers.
"Regional Queenslanders were slightly better off in May than in April, with retailers lowering their margins by about two cents, but margins were still too high, buoying ULP prices up," Mr Fitzgerald said.
"Far North Queenslanders fared the worst, with ULP prices up to 18cpl higher than in Brisbane, which averaged 136.7cpl last month."
Mr Fitzgerald said the drop in south-east Queensland's prices was due to an extended period of unusually low retail margins, in addition to the timing of the fuel price cycles.
"The cheapest day in Brisbane was May 13, when the average price of ULP fell to 127.8cpl - the lowest price in 28 months.
"The last time we saw ULP prices this cheap was during the January 2011 floods.
"The Sunshine Coast which - unlike the majority of regional Queensland - operates on the same fuel price cycle as Brisbane was the cheapest place to buy ULP in May, averaging 134cpl.
"The only other centres to sell cheaper ULP than Brisbane were the Gold Coast (135.4cpl) and Warwick (136.4cpl)."