Fuel gods deliver 20c cut in time for Christmas

THE fuel gods have delivered a petrol price cut of up to 20 cents a litre for motorists in time for Christmas.

Unleaded prices are in a gradual decline as the cost of crude oil hits its lowest point in five years.

The price of unleaded petrol is expected to drop as low as $1.20 a litre - down from $1.38.

The petrol price cycle reached a peak last Monday at $145.4 and has been spiralling down ever since as crude oil dropped from $US100 a barrel to less than $US70.

The savings have been met with sighs of relief at the pump.

For oil importers like Australia, the falling price of crude should mean cheaper petrol prices at the bowser, lower transport costs and a drop in food prices.

Petrol prices at Coast pumps teeter cautiously as the Australian dollar trades 10 cents lower than it did a few months ago. One Australian dollar is trading at 84 US cents, the lowest rate in more than four years.

But Coast motorists aren't complaining. Yesterday petrol was selling for $1.28 a litre at many petrol stations, including the hotly competitive bowsers at Nambour.

Noosa Junction Shell had unleaded fuel at $130.9 a litre, while the most expensive fuel could be found at Caloundra and Currimundi at $138.9 a litre.

RACQ executive manager public policy Michael Roth said the declining wholesale petrol prices would indicate a longer price cycle and more opportunities to grab cheap fuel.

But he did reiterate prices were dependent on the Australian dollar and the cycle could turn at any time. "The crude oil price drop has been extraordinary, the biggest we've seen since the Global Financial Crisis," he said.

Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association CEO Nic Moulis said the flow-on of the global decline of crude oil prices had been a positive.

"Australian motorists could position themselves here with higher levels of competition ... depressed oil prices can work in their favour,'' he said. "We are price takers, not price makers, so we have to make hay while the sun shines and grab the advantage of lower priced oil."



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