‘Perfect storm’ for more fuel pump pain

MOTORISTS are being warned to fill up now as a perfect storm of tightening supply and the Iranian crisis threatens to send fuel prices skyrocketing.

Experts are warning unleaded fuel will be back around the record highs seen across southeast Queensland in mid-December, when motorists were being slugged a whopping $172.9 cents a litre.

However, the body representing service stations has insisted current instability in the Middle East will have a "negligible" impact on fuel prices.

Commsec senior economist Ryan Felsman said motorists should "fill up now", with prices already starting to jump, particularly on Brisbane's southside.

Mr Felsman said prices were already increasing from a weak Aussie dollar, the end of the current fuel cycle, and OPEC and Russia deciding to limit oil supplies, with the drone strike in Iraq expected to create a "perfect storm" of petrol pain.

The controversial drone strike which killed an Iranian military leader has further complicated the Middle East’s fuel markets. Picture: AP
The controversial drone strike which killed an Iranian military leader has further complicated the Middle East’s fuel markets. Picture: AP

"We're likely to see prices back at those peak levels close to record highs, or at least around $1.70 a litre in the coming week," he said.

"Concerns around supply is part of the reason why we have seen the crude oil price lift in recent days."

Southeast Queensland servos had kept prices lower for longer throughout the New Year period, but prices were expected to hit highs at the weekend.

Mr Felsman said Brisbane's north and west were on the whole between $1.30 and $1.35 a litre, but prices on the southside had already jumped to above $1.35 on average.

RACQ spokeswoman Lauren Ritchie said the current levels of tension in the Middle East were unlikely to impact fuel prices for southeast Queenslanders, but urged motorists to fill up before prices rose.

Escalation of tensions between Iran and the US could risk fuel supply lines. Picture: Trevor Veale
Escalation of tensions between Iran and the US could risk fuel supply lines. Picture: Trevor Veale

Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association chief executive Mark McKenzie said he expected little impact on fuel prices, citing similar "blips" after diplomatic tensions between the US and Iran in May 2018 and October 2019.



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