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Wholesale petrol prices hit 4-year highsWeekly Petrol prices
Petrol: According to the Australian Institute of Petroleum, the national average Australian price of unleaded petrol rose by 0.6 cents to a four-month high of 152.8 cents a litre. Prices are up 21.7 per cent over the year to September 23. Adelaide unleaded petrol prices rose by 5.9 cents to a 4½-year high of 157.9 cents a litre last week.
Wholesale petrol prices rise: The national average Australian wholesale unleaded petrol price (also known as the Terminal Gate Price) lifted by 1.0 cent to a four-year high of 142.2 cents a litre. Today in Sydney, the average retail unleaded petrol price is 162.3 cents a litre according to MotorMouth, 20.1 cents a litre above the unleaded terminal gate price of 142.1 cents a litre. 
What does it all mean?
Petrol prices continue to rise, stretching household budgets. CommSec estimates that monthly household spending on petrol, assuming the purchase of 40 litres of petrol per week, is at four-month highs of $244.48.
Unleaded petrol prices were above, or touching, $1.50 a litre in all capital cities last week. Drivers in Adelaide may have noticed that pump prices were at the highest level since January 2014.
And the petrol pain is set to continue as motorists hit the road for the school holidays. According to independent price monitor, MotorMouth, unleaded petrol prices are $1.55-$1.60 a litre in most suburbs and regions today. In Sydney, the latest retail petrol price discounting cycle ended abruptly last weekend. And pump prices are likely to remain elevated for the AFL Grand Final in Melbourne this weekend. Prices are falling in Brisbane and Adelaide, but remain “stuck” near four-year highs in Canberra, Darwin and Hobart.
Wholesale unleaded petrol prices (terminal gate prices) are at the highest level in four years. Motorists are encouraged to review their real-time fuel price apps, such as MotorMouth, for the best deals at service stations.
Global crude oil prices continue to increase. Last week Brent crude rose by US71 cents or 0.9 per cent to US$78.80 a barrel and the US Nymex price rose by US$1.79 or 2.6 per cent to US$70.78 a barrel. The benchmark Singapore gasoline price is near four-year highs, signalling more pump pain for Aussie drivers.
With the Brent crude oil price hovering around US$80 a barrel and US pump prices at US$2.90 a gallon, President Trump took to Twitter on Thursday, demanding that “the OPEC monopoly must get prices down!.” But a meeting of OPEC and its allies in Algeria ended yesterday without any decision to further increase oil output.
Worries persist about the loss of Iranian supply from the market due to US sanctions. And declines in crude supplies at the biggest US storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, are supporting US oil prices.
What do the figures show?Petrol prices
According to the Australian Institute of Petroleum, the national average Australian price of unleaded petrol rose by 0.6 cents to 16-week highs of 152.8 cents a litre in the past week.
The metropolitan petrol price rose by 0.5 cents to 152.5 cents per litre and the regional price rose by 1.1 cents to 153.5 cents per litre. The gross retail margin fell by 0.7 cents to 10.40 cents a litre.
Average unleaded petrol prices across states and territories over the past week were: Sydney (up by 3.0 cents to 151.5 c/l), Melbourne (down by 1.9 cents to 149.1 c/l), Brisbane (down by 3.9 cents to 155.9 c/l), Adelaide (up by 5.9 cents to 157.9 c/l), Perth (up by 3.4 cents to 151.2 c/l), Darwin (up by 0.8 cents at 155.4 c/l), Canberra (up by 2.0 cents to 157.3 c/l) and Hobart (up by 0.6 cents to 160.2 c/l).
Today, the national average wholesale (terminal gate) unleaded petrol price stands at 142.3 cents a litre, up by 0.9 cents over the week. The terminal gate diesel price stands at 145.2 cents a litre, down by 0.8 cents over the past week.
The national average diesel petrol price rose by 1.6 cents to 157.6 cents a litre over the week. The metropolitan price rose by 1.9 cents to 158.2 cents a litre with the regional price up by 1.3 cents to 157.2 cents a litre.
Last week the key Singapore gasoline price rose by US80 cents to four-month highs of US$89.60 a barrel. In Australian dollar terms, the Singapore gasoline price fell by 53 cents or 0.4 per cent last week to $122.81 a barrel or 77.24 cents a litre – just below four-year highs.
MotorMouth records the following average retail prices for capital cities today: Sydney 162.2c; Melbourne 155.1c; Brisbane 154.1c; Adelaide 152.0c; Perth 145.3c; Canberra 158.4c; Darwin 156.2c; Hobart 160.3c.
What is the importance of the economic data?
Weekly figures on petrol prices are compiled by ORIMA Research on behalf of the Australian Institute of Petroleum (AIP). National average retail prices are calculated as the weighted average of each State/Territory’s metropolitan and non-metropolitan retail petrol prices, with the weights based on the number of registered petrol vehicles in each of these regions. AIP data for retail petrol prices is based on available market data supplied by MotorMouth.
What are the implications for interest rates and investors?
Aussie drivers will likely experience petrol pump pain as they hit the road for the school holidays.
Unleaded petrol prices are likely to stay at $1.50-$1.60 a litre for the foreseeable future due to a combination of elevated wholesale unleaded petrol and global oil prices.
CommSec expects interest rates to be unchanged until late 2019.
Published by Ryan Felsman, Senior Economist, CommSec