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Fuel prices up again

Saturday 30 September 2023 | Written by Rashneel Kumar | Published in Economy, National


Fuel prices up again
CITC Kavera’s Teinakore-O-Koroa Murare filling car with petrol on Saturday. The shop was out of petrol. FILE PICTURE: CAMERON SCOTT/22121802

Petrol and diesel prices are up again in latest Price Order, amidst international reports of further increases heading into festive season.

The new Price Order released by the Price Tribunal came into effect yesterday, Friday, September 29.

The wholesale prices for petrol, diesel, and LPG have increased to $2.65 per litre from $2.58, $2.52 from $2.50, and $3.87 from $3.59 per kilo, respectively.

The maximum allowable retail price for petrol to consumers in Rarotonga is up by $0.07 from $2.86 to $2.93 per litre. In Aitutaki, it has increased by a cent to $3.16 per litre, while for the rest of the Southern Group, the new retail price stands at $3.75, an increase of $0.07 from the previous Price Order issued on July 31. The Northern Group also sees an increase of $0.07 per litre of petrol, from $3.83 to $3.90.

Aitutaki received the biggest increase in diesel retail price, an increase of $0.19 to $3.19 per litre in the latest Price Order. In Rarotonga, the new diesel price sees a $0.02 increase per litre to $2.80, and similar increases are in effect for the rest of the Southern Group ($3.43) and the Northern Group ($3.53).

The LPG prices are also up in Rarotonga and the Southern Group except Aitutaki. In Rarotonga, consumers will now have to pay $4.82 per kilo of LPG, an increase of $0.28, and in the Southern Group, the price increase is similar, from $6.41 to $6.69 per kilo LPG. For Aitutaki, the retail LPG price has dropped by $0.31 from $4.72 to $4.41 in the latest Price Order.

The latest Price Order comes amidst reports from New Zealand of further increases, with projections that petrol prices could soar as high as $3.50 a litre for 91 by Christmas.

New Zealand fuel company Waitomo’s managing director, Jimmy Ormsby, told RNZ Morning Report that global events were having an impact on prices.

“Obviously the Saudis have restricted supply, they like the barrel to be up in that 90 to 100 dollar range which it now is, so hopefully that's enough for them and they let the product flow a bit more so that'll be reflected in the price of a barrel,” Ormsby said.

“There’s also been quite a few refinery shut-downs in the region so it’s just a catch up from post-Covid.

“Good news is that data out (last) week is that the Chinese refineries have doubled their output over June and July. June and July were low months, it’s back up to something like 1.2 million tonnes, so that’s really positive.”

Cook Islands Price Tribunal member Gabe Raymond said: “The Price Tribunal does look at fuel prices in New Zealand and beyond, however our tribunal decisions are based on historical cost information and therefore this reflects purchases of fuel in Cook Islands that have already been made by our suppliers.”

“Price Orders do not incorporate a forward outlook. The Price Tribunal does not issue forecasts or speculate on future fuel prices.”

Under the Control of Prices Act 1966, the Price Tribunal is charged with fixing prices for goods and services provided in the Act. It is also responsible for investigating any complaints made or referred to the Tribunal with respect to trade practices or prices charged for goods and services.

The Tribunal is required to keep under review trade practices and the prices of goods and services and to institute proceedings for offences under the Control of Prices Act. It has the responsibility of taking such other steps which in its opinion may be necessary to prevent the exploitation of the public.