Falling oil prices offer a glimmer of hope to Australians after the largest sharemarket fall since the GFC left the nation’s economy reeling.
Petrol prices around the country are predicted to drop after global oil prices fell 30 per cent over the long weekend.
NRMA spokesperson Peter Khoury told The New Daily those falls should shave at least 5 to 10 cents a litre off bowser prices.
Those cost savings would not be immediately passed on however, as it typically takes between a week and 10 days before global oil prices flow through to consumers.
Instead, motorists can expect to see the full reduction show up in the next price cycle.
The good news is that global prices had been steadily falling in the week leading up to the sharemarket plunge – meaning bowser prices should see steady declines in the coming days before the latest savings are fully passed on.
“Global prices fell about $US8 a barrel before we saw the huge plunge,” Mr Khoury said.
“It’s certainly positive for motorists. We think the next [price drop] in the capital cities will be about 10 cents a litre for regular unleaded.”
Drivers can already find decent petrol prices in their cities if they do research beforehand, Mr Khoury said, but “the longer you can wait [to fill up] the better” those prices will be.
“I don’t think the average will fall to a dollar a litre, but certainly you’ll start seeing some of the more competitive petrol stations getting not too far off that,” he said.
The drop in fuel prices will be good news for Australian consumers after Australian sharemarkets recorded a 7.4 per cent loss on Monday – marking the worst single day of trade since the global financial crisis.
Politicians call for lower prices
Politicians on both sides of Parliament have called on retailers to pass on the savings to customers.
Treasury Josh Frydenberg said he had asked ACCC chair Rod Sims to ensure the nation’s competition watchdog kept a close eye on petrol stations’ pricing.
“They have assured me that they will not only maintain their monitoring role and the vigilance that that involves, but they’ll also be calling out any energy companies that don’t pass on the reduction in the wholesale price to the Australian consumer,” he said.
Meanwhile, Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers said it was “absolutely crucial” drivers see those savings.
“The petrol retailers in this country should not be taking us for mugs by hanging on to these substantial reductions in the fuel price,” he said.
“We all call on them, and this is not a political issue. Every member of Parliament calls on the petrol retailers to do the right thing, to pass on these price reductions.”
Prices collapse as Russia steps up production
Brent crude oil prices on futures markets – where traders gamble on future price movements by buying and selling using their own price forecasts – fell from $US45 a barrel on Friday to $US32 a barrel by 3pm on Monday (AEDT).
The drop follows the breakdown of an alliance between Russia and Saudi Arabia that previously saw the two nations limit oil production in an effort to put a floor under prices.
Both countries now plan to increase their production of oil, leaving investors “shellshocked”, according to Stephen Innes, an Asia Pacific Market strategist at foreign exchange company AxiCorp.
It’s just absolutely amazing,” he said.
They likely went to bed on Sunday night thinking there could be blood in the streets and awoke to find their nightmare fully realised, he said.
Still, Mr Innes said he thought there was a chance Russia and Saudi Arabia might come back to the bargaining table and reach a deal.
It was in neither country’s interest to allow the price of Brent crude to plummet to as low as near $US20 a barrel, as one Goldman Sachs analyst is predicting.