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Petrol prices drop further

Friday 20 January 2023 | Written by Matthew Littlewood | Published in Economy, National


Petrol prices drop further
CITC Kavera’s Teinakore-O-Koroa Murare filling car with petrol late last month after receiving fresh supplies following a petrol shortage in December. Picture: CAMERON SCOTT/22121803

The Price Tribunal has announced another drop in petrol prices.

The latest order, which arrived on Thursday, sets the maximum petrol price in Rarotonga for consumers at $2.89 per litre, and in Aitutaki at $3.18 per litre, while for the rest of the Southern group islands, it is set at $3.71 per litre, and $3.86 for the Northern group.

Across the board, this has been a drop of about three to five per cent for consumers from the previous price order in the Cook Islands.

However, there have been some movements in diesel prices, with the maximum allowable price increasing slightly to $3.27 per litre in Rarotonga, and dropping slightly in Aitutaki to $3.42 per litre. In the Northern group of islands, diesel prices increased to $4 per litre, and in the Southern group to $3.90 per litre. In both cases, the increase was about three per cent. 

Meanwhile, the wholesale price of petrol has dropped from $2.72 per litre to $2.61 per litre, while diesel has increased from $2.87 per litre to $2.99 per litre.

Toa Petroleum owner Brett Porter said the drop in petrol prices was to be expected, as it reflected trends in international markets.

“But the good news is that no one has been disadvantaged by this price order, because everyone in the Cook Islands is getting their fuel from the same market,” Porter said.

Pandanus Petrol worker Jason Raul said he had expected the price to move downwards.

“We’ve been looking elsewhere and we expected some movement downwards,” Raul said.

“We will be expecting more customers as a result as they take advantage of the cheaper petrol.”

Prime Foods general manager Daniel Forsyth said it was a surprise, but “petrol costs don’t affect us too much”.

“The real costs for us are the ocean freight. We would love to see those prices drop, but so far there have been no signs of it,” Forsyth said.

Price Tribunal chairman Louis Enoka was unavailable for comment yesterday.

However, during the previous price order in November 2022, he encouraged consumers to be wary.

“There’s been a drop in petrol prices but still treat petrol like it’s going to become expensive again very soon,” he said in November.

“However, the real concern is that shipping and handling costs across the board have increased for all commodities, and given how much we ship in, that’s going to be a big issue going forward.”