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ACCC to closely monitor petrol prices

The ACCC are warning they will name and shame businesses who don’t pass on falling fuel prices to consumers.

Price drops in crude oil and refined petrol which began in January continued through February, when average prices in major cities saw significant falls. Including Sydney, where the average price was 141.1 cents per litre, 8.2 cents lower than the December average.

As prices have continued to drop, and as falls take up to two weeks to flow on to the Australian market, the ACCC yesterday announced they would be keeping a close eye on retailers in the coming days to ensure consumers are seeing the benefits. And ACCC chairman Rod Sims warned they would publicly call out those who don’t lower bowser prices accordingly.

“Australian petrol prices are primarily determined by international crude oil and refined petrol prices. Therefore, a sustained decrease in these prices should lead, everything else being equal, to lower petrol prices at the bowser,” he said.

“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. At this time the Australian economy needs all the assistance it can get, and lower world oil prices are one of the few positives from current world events.”

As C&I reported last week, a stoush between Saudi Arabia and Russia over calls to slash fuel production amid a sharp drop in demand, caused by international lock-downs and a decline in travel amid Covid-19 fears saw global prices drop by as much as 30 per cent.

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