Petrol prices head back to $1

"Stand-off" over prices: Retail petrol prices were expected to fall further with the benchmark Singapore Mogas 95 price falling below 50¢ a litre, compared with close to 60¢ a litre before Christmas. Fuel consultancy Fueltrac’s general manager, Geoff Trotter, said oil companies and service service station operators had engaged in a "Mexican stand-off” with the ACCC over being the first to push retail petrol prices higher.

Increases half-hearted:“Thursday is normally the peak of the weekly pricing cycle in Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth and we haven’t had one this week," Trotter said. “We’ve had a couple of half-hearted attempts by Caltex and Shell to try to move the price up but they haven’t been supported by any of the other majors or independents.”

Impact of scrutiny: Trotter said the reason for the sharp decline over the past days was the scrutiny by the ACCC, his own monitoring firm and publicity in the media. “Nobody has got the stomach to take on this media storm at the moment," he said.

The Australian Financial Review, 19/1/2007, p.16

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