Businesses brace for rising fuel prices

Fuel bowser
Fuel bowser

Sydney’s fleet running businesses are bracing for fuel prices to hit pre-COVID highs while congestion on roads continues to increase.

Research from the NRMA has revealed 59 per cent of Members agree they’re relying more heavily on their car for all transport needs now, compared with life before COVID. At the same time, rising economic optimism due to the start of the vaccine rollout globally and easing of restrictions has increased demand for fuel, sending Sydney’s average price for unleaded at the bowser up to about 153 cents a litre – numbers not seen since February last year.

While demand has increased, oil producing countries have maintained cuts to oil production, also contributing to high prices. For many fleet-running businesses, this combination has the potential to significantly hurt the bottom line.

NRMA Spokesperson Peter Khoury said after a year when the full falls in global oil were never passed on to Australian motorists, many were now forced to brace for even higher prices in 2021.

“For fleet-running businesses, this combination of an increase in fuel prices with an increase in time spent sitting in traffic can be incredibly challenging. We already know time spent in traffic is eating into business’ bottom line, which in turn fuels uncertainty and impacts on growth and resources to invest in more staff,” Mr Khoury said.

“We saw throughout 2020 that oil companies needed no excuse when it came to exposing Australians to higher petrol prices than what we should have been paying, and now that global demand for fuel is rising faster than supply we are concerned that things will now worsen.

“That’s not to say prices should be as high as some retailers are pushing them – it’s not uncommon on any given day to find price discrepancies of about 60 cents across Sydney – and this discrepancy is almost unique to Australia.

In addition to the call for transparency on petrol pricing from the NRMA, our business Members save 4c per litre at participating BP service stations when taking out a WEX Motorpass fuel card. Find out more.

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