COSTLY: Ken Smith puts fuel in his vehicle at Metro Petroleum in West Ipswich.
COSTLY: Ken Smith puts fuel in his vehicle at Metro Petroleum in West Ipswich. Rob Williams

Drivers must shop around to beat global pact, retailers

A REDUCTION in the production of oil on the other side of the globe has resulted in the price of fuel skyrocketing in Ipswich residents' backyard.

In November 2016, oil-exporting countries, known as OPEC, made a pact to limit oil production.

Its decision drove the price of fuel up across the globe.

"We've been paying in the southeast about 30c a litre more than we were two years ago," RACQ spokeswoman Lucinda Ross said.

"It's quite a significant jump, unfortunately.

"That's why it's so important for drivers to shop around."

Ms Ross said it was difficult to forecast beyond a few days ahead, largely due to the unchallenged power of fuel retailers.

"In November 2016, OPEC cut oil production, since then we've seen an increase in the price of oil globally," she said.

"We also have retailers using that increase in oil price and also taking an extra bite out of what we think is fair - particularly in southeast Queensland where we have a price cycle.

"The price cycle is very unpredictable and we don't know when service stations will start hiking their prices."

Ms Ross said Ipswich used to be the cheapest area in the southeast to fill up, but had now been undercut by the Gold Coast's growing market.

"It's about competition and these newer independents coming to town charging lower prices to get new business has an impact," she said.

She hoped Costco at Bundamba would drive down fuel prices in that area.

"We'd like to see new players enter the market because the more players in the market the better," she said.

"It can be a really great thing for drivers overall."

When deciding where to fill up, Ken Smith looks for price before convenience.

The Ipswich resident admitted the tank usually gets "too low" before he fills up at Metro in West Ipswich.

"I live around here and it's the closest place and it's good it's also the cheapest," he said.

Ms Ross encouraged drivers to shop around for the cheap retailers.

According to the RACQ, $1.37 is a fair price for fuel.

"If anyone spots fuel for that price or below, we'd urge them to fill up," she said.



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