Mt Barker prices not cheaper: FuelWatch

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Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
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The hotly debated difference between fuel prices in Great Southern towns has been explained by FuelWatch manager Lynne Gould.

There is a common misconception that the fuel prices in Mt Barker are significantly lower than in Albany but Ms Gould said that based on FuelWatch analysis for 2017 so far, Albany had actually had a cheaper ULP and diesel price on more days than Mt Barker.

“A lot of it depends on the delivery of petrol and therefore the volume that any site might go through,” she said. “But, in general, sites will follow the international benchmark with a time lag depending on refill.

“Take Mt Barker, it takes a certain period of time for their tanks to need refilling and so when they refill would be at a different time to Albany.

“In regional areas, what you see to a degree is that sites will put up or down their prices dependent on the cost at that point of time.”

The timing of fuel delivery can quickly alter in regional locations. Sites might miss spikes or dips in prices. Albany fuel stations are susceptible to competitive shopping, influencing competing stations to follow prices and a lower pricing strategies.

Regional fuel prices are influenced by wholesale prices, volumes, competition and non-fuel profits such as convenience store items.

“Mt Barker consists of only three sites and is situated on a major highway and they are competing for traffic going through,” Ms Gould said.

“The small number of fuel retailers servicing a major thoroughfare provides sufficient sales volumes for the three sites to discount prices, especially if attempting to win over motorists who would otherwise have or will fill up at Albany.

“Fuel prices vary greatly in Albany on any given day. Today the differences between the cheapest and most expensive ULP and diesel sites are 7cpl and 11cpl, respectively.”

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