Which grade of diesel should you use at the bowser?

Considering today’s ever improving diesel engines, our Members have been asking which grade of diesel should they choose at the pump.

bowsers

DECISIONS, DECISIONS: Pricing is not the only thing you need to consider when filling up at the bowser.

NRMA Motoring Advice recommends the Low Sulphur grade Premium Diesel option, as this is the only type of fuel that is compatible with today’s diesel fuel systems. 

In older vehicles, the usage of  regular diesel can cause significant sulphuric acid build up which quickly corrodes piston rings, cylinder linings, valves and cylinder head. Oil changes are also required frequently, doubling the vehicle’s manufacturer recommendations.

For newer vehicles, high pressure diesel direct-injection systems such as common rail diesel engines are highly sensitive to high sulphur fuels. Also, electronic metering systems are rendered inaccurate by deteriorating fuel injector pins.

Overall, high sulfur fuels increase vehicle repair and maintenance costs are for both vehicle types. Low sulphur diesel can be used in any vehicle or stationary diesel engine that currently runs on regular diesel.

Low sulphur diesel summary:

  • Reduces sulphur in fuel potentially reduces the risk of corrosive wear in the engine;
  • Reduces the sulphur content does not inhibit engine performance; and
  • Reduces sulphur facilitates the introduction of new diesel exhaust treatment catalyst which will further enhance the reduction of environmentally sensitive diesel emissions;
  • Reduces the ultra fine particles from diesel engine exhausts will improve local air quality;
  • Reduces sulphur dioxide emissions, which contribute to acid rain, will reduce the risk of acid rain occurring.

Are you a regular user of low sulphur diesel? Have you noticed any improvements to your vehicle’s running and repair costs?

Have any more questions that you would like us to answer? Our Motoring Advice Team are available to provide advice and information on just about anything motoring related for NRMA Members. You can reach the team on 13 11 22 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm)

What’s the deal with Diesel prices?

Over the last few weeks motorists have saved at the bowser with unleaded fuel prices hitting a six year low due to the fall in crude and refined oil prices. Despite this, Diesel fuel pricing has not changed.

Diesel price_edit

PEOPLE POWER: Motorists are encouraged to share cheaper fuel prices on social media.

The price of diesel is determined by international market forces (independent of market forces associated with petrol). At present there is strong international competition and an over-supply of petrol within the international market (due to the US producing more off their own petrol and relying less on imported oil from the Middle East).

This is a major factor in petrol prices being as low as they are. However this is not reflected with diesel as there is not the same level of competition internationally.

Pricing at the Bowser

Only 25 percent of diesel used in Australia is sold through retail outlets – with most diesel sold to bulk commercial/industrial customers i.e. mining and transport companies.

There is very little diesel sold to private customers (as opposed to petrol), so there is no need for retailers to provide the same level of discounting for diesel products, as most of the market share is with commercial/industrial customers – not motorists. Therefore, retail diesel prices, unlike petrol prices are not subject to aggressive price discounting. At service stations, retailers concentrate on petrol/LPG  discounting to drive overall fuel sales.

Motorists are encouraged use our online Petrol Watch price guide or share the cheapest fuel prices in their areas on our NRMA Facebook Page.

Have you noticed any changes to diesel fuel prices in your area? What’s been the cheapest price? 

Weekly petrol report – prices high – shop around

fuel-prices-report

World Crude Oil Prices

Over the previous week:

  • the average crude oil price rose 1.9 cents per litre; and
  • Sydney’s Terminal Gate Price for unleaded rose 1.9 cents per litre to 143.6 cents per litre.

Sydney Prices

Sydney’s most recent price cycle was 21 days – same as the previous cycle. Today is day twenty of the current cycle, with the current average price for regular unleaded petrol in Sydney at 151.1 cents per litre (Monday afternoon). Average prices are expected to rise to 157 cents per litre by mid-week (see Figure 1). Similar price movements are expected to occur for E10, Premium 95 and Premium 98.

The dearest point of the current cycle was Wednesday 7 May at 159.6 cents per litre for regular unleaded petrol. The corresponding prices for E10, Premium 95 and Premium 98 were 158.5, 171.3 and 177.1 cents per litre respectively.

find-one

Figure 1: Daily Sydney Average Terminal Gate Price and Regular Unleaded Price Movements since 12 May 2014 $A (cents per litre)

Canberra, Newcastle, Central Coast and Wollongong Prices

Average Regular Unleaded and Diesel Price Movements (cents per litre)
 
Regular Unleaded Petrol
Diesel
Region
Price W/E 25 May 
Price W/E 18 May
Difference
Price W/E 25 May 
Price W/E 18 May
Difference
Canberra
157.3
157.3
0.0
162.5
162.5
 0.0
Central Coast
152.8
151.2
+1.6
160.0
160.2
-0.2
Newcastle
157.8
158.3
-0.5
159.9
159.9
0.1
Wollongong
150.2
151.0
-0.8
158.0
157.9
+0.1

Regional Prices and Bowser Buster

Average unleaded and diesel prices in most regional towns saw little price movement over the past week.

Of the 54 locations monitored by Bowser Buster, the current top five cheapest and dearest locations for average prices as at close of business 25 May 2014 were:

Cheapest Regular Unleaded Petrol                    Cheapest Diesel

Rank Location Average Price cents/litre Rank Location Average Price
cents/litre
1 Tweed Heads South 143.5 1 Sydney 155.3
2 Moss Vale 147.9 2 Moama 156.3
3 Orange 148.2 3 Tweed Heads South 157.4
4 Grafton 148.4 4 Buronga 157.9
5 Sydney 149.5 5 Wollongong 158.0

 

Dearest Regular Unleaded Petrol                         Dearest Diesel

Rank Location Average Price cents/litre Rank Location Average Price cents/litre
54 Tumut 164.9 54 Tumut 169.5
53 Armidale 160.9 53 Cooma 169.0
52 Moruya 160.4 52 Armidale 168.9
51 Bega 160.2 51 Broken Hill 166.6
50 Parkes 160.1 50 Port Macquarie 165.5

For full ranking list see http://www.mynrma.com.au/motoring/car-care/bowser-buster.htm

Looking Ahead

Over the past week, the average Mogas price rose 1.7 cents per litre, the average Terminal Gate Price rose 1.9 cents per litre while the Australian dollar fell 1.1 cents against the US dollar. Given these market forces, unleaded petrol should rise 2.5 cent per litre over the next price cycle.

Average regular unleaded prices in Sydney should range between 157 cents per litre (at the high point of the new price cycle) and 144 cents per litre (at the low point of the next price cycle).

The average price ranges for E10, Premium 95 and Premium 98 should be as follows:

  • E10 – a high point of 155 cents per litre and a low point of 142 cents per litre.
  • Premium 95 – a high point of 168 cents per litre and a low point of 155 cents per litre.
  • Premium 98 – a high point of 173 cents per litre and a low point of 160 cents per litre.

Average diesel prices in Sydney should fall below 155 cents per litre this week.

Average LPG prices in Sydney are falling with the current average at 76.1 cents per litre. Average prices should fall below 76 cents per litre over the next week.

What are prices like in your area?

Prices set to rise – buy now

fuel-prices-report

World Crude Oil Prices

Over the previous week:

  • the average crude oil price rose 0.4 cents per litre; and
  • Sydney’s Terminal Gate Price for unleaded fell 0.3 cents per litre to 141.7 cents per litre.

Sydney Prices

Sydney’s most recent price cycle was 21 days – same as the previous cycle. Today is day 15 of the current cycle, with the current average price for regular unleaded petrol in Sydney at 141.6 cents per litre (Tuesday afternoon). Average prices are nearing the bottom of the price cycle at 141 cents per litre and are expected to rise shortly (see Figure 1). Similar price movements are expected to occur for E10, Premium 95 and Premium 98.

The dearest point of the current cycle was Wednesday 7 May at 159.6 cents per litre for regular unleaded petrol. The corresponding prices for E10, Premium 95 and Premium 98 were 158.5, 171.3 and 177.1 cents per litre respectively.

Daily Sydney Average Terminal Gate Fuel and Regular Unleaded Price

Figure 1: Daily Sydney Average Terminal Gate Fuel and Regular Unleaded Price Movements since 5 May 2014 $A (cents per litre)

Canberra, Newcastle, Central Coast and Wollongong Prices

Average Regular Unleaded and Diesel Price Movements (cents/litre)
Regular Unleaded Petrol Diesel
Region Week Ending 18 May Week Ending 11 May Difference Week Ending 18 May Week Ending 11 May Difference
Canberra 157.3 157.3 0.0 162.5 162.5        0.0
Central Coast 151.2 153.4 -2.2 160.2 160.2 0.0
Newcastle 158.3 158.8 -0.5 159.9 160.0 -0.1
Wollongong 151.0 156.8 -5.8 157.9 158.6 -0.7

Regional Prices and Bowser Buster

Average unleaded and diesel prices in most regional towns saw little price movement over the past week.

Of the 54 locations monitored by Bowser Buster, the current top five cheapest and dearest locations for average prices as at close of business 18 May 2014 were:

Cheapest Regular Unleaded Petrol                    Cheapest Diesel

Rank Location Average
Price
Rank Location Average Price
1 Sydney 141.8 1 Sydney 155.5
2 Tweed Heads South 145.7 2 Tweed Heads South 157.4
3 Moss Vale 147.9 3 Buronga 157.9
4 Orange 148.2 4 Wollongong 157.9
5 Grafton 150.2 5 Yass 158.9

Dearest Regular Unleaded Petrol                         Dearest Diesel

Rank Location Average
Price
Rank Location Average Price
54 Tumut 164.9 54 Tumut 170.9
53 Armidale 161.0 53 Armidale 169.2
52 Parkes 160.1 52 Cooma 169.0
51 Cooma 160.1 51 Broken Hill 169.0
50 Lithgow 160.0 50 Port Macquarie 165.5

Looking Ahead

Over the past week, the average Mogas price rose 1.6 cents per litre, the average Terminal Gate price fell 0.3 cents per litre while the Australian dollar fell 0.1 cents against the US dollar. Given these market forces, unleaded petrol prices should rise 1 cent per litre over the next price cycle.

Average regular unleaded prices in Sydney should range between 141 cents per litre (at the low point of the current price cycle) and 157 cents per litre (at the high point of the next price cycle)

The average price ranges for E10, Premium 95 and Premium 98 should be as follows:

  • E10 – a low point of 139 cents per litre and a high point of 155 cents per litre
  • Premium 95 – a low point of 152 cents per litre and a high point of 168 cents per litre
  • Premium 98 – a low point of 157 cents per litre and a high point of 173 cents per litre.

Average diesel prices in Sydney should fall to 154 cents per litre this week.

Average LPG prices in Sydney are falling with the current average at 76.3 cents per litre. Average prices should fall below 76 cents per litre over the next week.

How are fuel prices in your area?

How long could Australia thrive if our oil supplies were cut?

Australia's Liquid Fuel Security

FUEL FOR THOUGHT: we are heavily dependent on imports of refined petroleum products and crude oil to meet our liquid fuel demand but Australia continues to adopt a “she’ll be right” approach to fuel security.

Australia is the world’s ninth-largest energy producer and there are many renewable and non-renewable energy resources in our country. Despite this, we are heavily dependent on imports of refined petroleum products and crude oil to meet our liquid fuel demand.

With such a spread-out population, Australia relies heavily on road transportation to move goods and services around. Our transport system is more than 95 per cent dependent on oil.

Did you know that if the oil stopped coming, goods and services could dry up in just over a week?

According to research carried out for our report, If Australia’s oil supply was cut:

  • dry goods could run out within nine days;
  • chilled and frozen goods could run out within seven days;
  • retail pharmacy supplies could run out within seven days;
  • hospital pharmacy supplies could run out within three days; and
  • fuel available to the public could run out within three days.

Australia needs to develop an alternative fuels industry – and only then, could we ween ourselves off our world oil dependency.

It doesn’t help that Sydney will have no refining capacity after 2014. The Clyde refinery closed last year and Kurnell will follow soon. If our supplies are cut off due to disruption to our shipping lanes, we would find ourselves in a crisis situation very quickly.

Australia continues to adopt a “she’ll be right” approach to fuel security, relying on global oil and fuel markets.

These markets have proven to be volatile with fluctuations of up to 60 cents per litre for unleaded fuel prices at the pump seen in the space of just six months. The reason for dramatic fluctuations can include conflict in the Middle East and natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina.

This report is another wake-up call for governments to get serious about developing an alternative fuels industry.

Are you concerned about Australia’s oil dependency? Would you like the Government to do more to develop our alternative fuel industry?

The NRMA’s Australia’s Liquid Fuel Security report can be downloaded at: http://www.mynrma.com.au/about/reports-and-submissions.htm.