RACQ welcomes ACCC petrol industry report

RACQ has welcomed a new Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) report on the profitability of the fuel industry in Australia.

Club spokesperson Paul Turner said the latest ACCC petrol industry report revealed profits had risen in recent years.

“It’s just not fair that fuel companies are making record profits, funded by motorists,” Mr Turner said. 

“According to the ACCC, net profits for the total downstream industry across all products and services were $2.78 billion or 2.9 cents per litre (cpl). This is the highest recorded since the 2007-08 financial year and more than double the figure recorded for 2013-14. 

“The petrol retail sector generated a record high of $333 million in net profits on petrol products in the 2017-18 financial year.

“That’s a record net profit of 3.0cpl on petrol products.

“About 60 percent of the net profits were made on premium fuels, which have a significantly higher profit margin for retailers.

“This also demonstrates the importance of Queensland’s Mandatory Fuel Price Reporting Trial, which gives motorists insights, in real time, on where they can get the cheapest prices. The State Government must make this trial permanent.” 

Mr Turner said the Club also echoed the ACCC’s calls demanding fuel companies stop using the current pandemic to further increase profits.

“It’s outrageous some retailers have not passed on huge falls in the price of global oil to motorists during the current pandemic,” he said. 

“According to the ACCC, weekly international crude oil prices have decreased by about US $50 per barrel since the beginning of the year and Australian wholesale prices have decreased by about 50cpl.

“It’s taken a long time for prices to decrease at the bowser in the south east, and while they now have, we’re still seeing prices far too high in many areas of regional Queensland. 

“While the cost of fuel is often higher in the regions with less competition, higher transport and running costs, and a six-week lag when there’s a market correction, time is absolutely up for fuel companies, and prices should in the regions must come down. 

“We’ll keep the pressure on fuel companies to lower prices in regional areas, but motorists also need to use apps like our Fair Fuel Finder so they have tips on where to fill up at for the cheapest price.”

*The ACCC analysis used data from the retailers 7-Eleven, BP, Caltex, Coles Express, On The Run, Puma Energy, United and Woolworths, and refinery and wholesale for the refiner/importers BP, Caltex, Viva Energy, Mobil and importers Liberty, Puma Energy and United. The analysis did not include data from, and does not apply to, the smaller chains and independent retailers.