Fuel prices in the state have remained high the last couple of months, however a dip has been predicted to come before Christmas.
RACT general manager of mobilisation Darren Moody said fuel prices in recent months were a “blatant grab”.
“Late last year we saw the retail price in the mid to high 130 [cents per litre] which is where it should be now,” he said.
“Those retailers in large population areas still charging anything above 140 cents per litre are gouging customers.”
Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association chief executive Mark McKenzie attributes fuel costs in Tasmania to it being a low-volume market.
“The competition is not as intense as it is in the larger Australian capital cities and-or regional areas that experience high levels of through traffic, such as Albury which is a region that is located on the busiest highway in the country,” Mr McKenzie said.
“While site rentals and lease costs are lower, these savings are offset by higher fuel transportation costs to fuel sites from mainland terminals.”
Mr McKenzie said Tasmanian cities were better compared to areas in regional Western Australia, the Northern Territory and the ACT.
Mr Moody also said lack of competition in the state is behind higher fuel prices.
“Our [Tasmania’s] market is dominated, in volume and site terms, by oil and supermarkets,” he said.
“We have continued to see a reduction in independents, competition has lessened.”
Mr Moody also noted that country areas surrounding cities were charging significantly less despite their urban proximity.
“Shell Dunnalley, which is 50 kilometres from Hobart, [is] selling at 136.9 cents per litre while the Shell in North Hobart is 161.9,” he said.
Mr McKenzie attributed increases to upward global oil prices, as well as local retailing costs.
He said barring retailing accommodation, a recent dip in oil prices should result in comparable retail fuel prices in the coming weeks.
The RACT recommends using GasBuddy and to shop around for better prices.
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