s has compiled a report “A series of unprecedented events – the June quarter, 2020”, outlining the impact of COVID-19 across the economy.
China house prices: In the year to August, Chinese house prices were 4.8 per cent higher than a year ago.
Movements in the petrol price can affect consumer spending, and in turn, prospects for retailers. The tourism data is useful in showing the impact of travel restrictions on the economy.
What does it all mean?
• In Sydney today, service stations are selling unleaded petrol for around 105.9 cents a litre. That said, some motorists could also be paying up to 134.9 cents a litre today in Sydney’s eastern and northern suburbs. The good news is that more motorists around Australia could be paying the cheaper prices following declines in global oil prices.
• Last week the Brent crude oil price lost US$2.83 or 6.6 per cent and the US Nymex price fell by US$2.44 or 6.1 per cent. The previous week the US Nymex price fell by 7.5 per cent. And the Brent crude price lost 5.3 per cent. The market monitoring committee of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia (OPEC+) will meet on Thursday to consider how to deal with worldwide oversupply.
• In the current environment, all roads lead to COVID-19 and so it is with the Federal Government’s fuel policy announcement. The coronavirus crisis has highlighted parts of our economy that have been exposed with the closure of global borders. And while today the government is shoring up our fuel security, other industries may need may need domestic support, potentially boosting the manufacturing sector.
• In August, on average 2,000 people per day left the country and 500 people per day arrived in Australia. A year ago around 58,000 people per day left Australia and a similar number arrived in Australia. Those figures starkly highlight the impact of COVID-19 on the overseas tourism and hospitality sectors.
What do the reports and figures show?
• According to the Australian Institute of Petroleum, the national average price of unleaded petrol fell by 5.5 cents to 124.2 cents a litre. The metropolitan price fell by 8.3 cents to 126.1 cents a litre and the regional price rose by 0.2 cents to 120.5 cents a litre.
• Average unleaded petrol prices across states and territories over the past week were: Sydney (down by 9.6 cents to 124.4 c/l), Melbourne (down by 7.4 cents to 134.0 c/l), Brisbane (down by 9.8 cents to 130.8 c/l), Adelaide (down by 19.4 cents to 110.8 c/l), Perth (down by 0.7 cents to 117.2 c/l), Darwin (down by 0.1 cent to 117.6 c/l), Canberra (down by 0.1 cents to 122.2 c/l) and Hobart (down by 0.1 cents to 124.1 c/l).
• The smoothed gross retail margin (2-month rolling average) for unleaded petrol rose from 18.89 cents to a 16-week high of 19.41 cents (24-month average: 14.6 cents a litre).
• The national average diesel petrol price fell by 0.2 cents to 119.8 cents a litre over the past week. The metropolitan price fell by 0.1 cent to 118.3 cents a litre and the regional price was also down 0.2 cent to 121.0 cents a litre.
• Last week, the national average unleaded Terminal Gate Price (TGP) fell by 1.9 cents to 102.9 cents a litre. The terminal gate diesel price fell by 2.6 cents to 101.8 cents a litre.
• Today, the average unleaded TGP stands at 101.6 cents a litre, down 2.1 cents over the week. The terminal gate diesel price stands at 99.3 cents a litre, down 4.0 cents a litre over the week.
• MotorMouth records the following average retail prices for unleaded fuel in capital cities today: Sydney 118.2c; Melbourne 130.3c; Brisbane 126.5c; Adelaide 133.8c; Perth 105.9c; Canberra 122.0c; Darwin 117.6c; Hobart 124.0c.
• Last week the key Singapore gasoline price fell by US$3.20 a barrel or 6.7 per cent to a 6-week low of US$44.60 a barrel. In Australian dollar terms, the Singapore gasoline price fell by US$4.49 or 6.8 per cent to a 15-week low of $61.26 a barrel or 38.53 cents a litre.
Preliminary arrivals & departures (August)
• All overseas arrivals to Australia in August 2020 (provisional estimates):
15,400 estimated trips, 8,800 of these are Australian citizens
15.5 per cent decrease compared to the previous month and a 99.1 per cent decrease compared to the corresponding month of the previous year
7.3 per cent of all arrivals were New Zealand citizens, the largest group apart from Australian citizens returning home
9.1 per cent of all arrivals were those arriving on temporary other visas.
• The three largest visa groups arriving in Australia in August 2020 were:
Temporary other visas (1,400), decreasing 18.5 per cent compared to the previous month
Permanent skilled visas (940), decreasing 8.9 per cent
Temporary visitor visas (910), increasing 1.4 per cent.
• All overseas departures from Australia in August 2020 (provisional estimates):
60,900 estimated trips, 14,300 of these are Australian citizens
6.8 per cent increase compared to the previous month and a 96.6 per cent decrease compared to the corresponding month of the previous year
15.9 per cent of all departures were Chinese citizens
20.9 per cent of all departures were those leaving on temporary student visas.
• The three largest visa groups departing from Australia in August 2020 were:
Temporary student visas (12,700), increasing 5.0 per cent compared to the previous month
Temporary other visas (11,200), decreasing 8.4 per cent
Temporary visitor visas (8,300), increasing 28.6 per cent.
What is the importance of the economic data?
• Weekly petrol prices data 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 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.
• The Australian Bureau of Statistics releases data on overseas arrivals and departures, produced monthly and is an indicator of the health of the tourism sector. The figures are also useful in understanding spending trends and tracking migrant numbers – an indicator with widespread implications for employment, housing and spending. New provisional monthly data has been provided since the COVID-19 crisis began.
What are the implications for investors?
• The recent declines in global oil prices represent good news for Aussie retailers – especially those that sell more discretionary goods and services – but represents bad news for energy producers. Second waves are being experienced by a number of countries, necessitating tightening of restrictions and thus reducing demand for fuel.
• Filling up the car with petrol is the single biggest purchase for most families across Australia. Aussie families are saving around $34 a month in filling the car with petrol compared with a year ago.
• In August there were only 2,670 people arriving in Australia on permanent visas, down from 119,900 a year ago. And for the past six months, 80,760 people arrived on permanent visas, down from 729,860 a year ago. The sharp declines in arrivals will have a growing impact on a raft of industries in coming months, especially housing.
Published by Craig James, Chief Economist, CommSec