The shocking fuel price rise in some cities over the past few days despite the OPEC glut and subsequent 20% reduction in oil prices is nothing more than profiteering from the pandemic.
Around the world fuel prices are dropping to 17-year lows, yet in some parts of Australia, prices are rising.
In Adelaide prices are now below $1/litre for 91RON, yet Brisbane have risen more than 40c in the past two days to almost $160. Prices for PULP are almost $180.
In Sydney, the average ULP price is $134 and in Melbourne it’s $126.
Oil price war
Russia and the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) act as a cartel to control oil supply to determine prices.
Earlier this month, they fell out when Saudi Arabia wanted to keep production artificially low.
Fearing the market would open up for US producers, Russia walked out of the meeting and the Saudis responded by launching a price war that has driven crude and refined oil down by more than 20%.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to ensure petrol retailers pass on the price reductions.
ACCC boss Rod Sims said they would “name and shame” petrol retailers who gouge prices.
However, that is not good enough. Fuel companies have no shame, anyway!
During this coronavirus crisis, many workers are being stood down and are struggling to meet basic requirements such as house repayments, let alone inflated fuel costs.
The federal and/or state governments should be able to enact laws in a time of crisis to stop profiteering. They could extend it to toilet paper hoarders!
The federal government is waiving fuel excise for airline operators, so maybe they can also do the same for motorists.
Some may say that fuel won’t be in high demand during the pandemic because people will not be going out as much.
However, that does not give fuel companies the right to gouge prices for those who need fuel such as emergency workers, nurses, police, transport operators, etc.
Also, what about those who stay home and need to do some motorcycle stunts in their house to stave off boredom while in isolation!