Trevor Veale

Warwick's cheapest fuel title now lost

WARWICK appears to have lost its title as the cheapest city in Queensland to buy fuel after being eclipsed by the Sunshine Coast.

But it was still, on average, cheaper than nearby cities like Toowoomba and Ipswich.

The RACQ believes it is still too high.

In January Warwick's average unleaded monthly price per litre was cheaper than any other regional city in Queensland at 152.9 cents per litre.

That had dropped to 145.6cpl in November - but prices on the Sunshine Coast dropped faster taking the crown off Warwick as the cheapest average price throughout the year.


RACQ spokeswoman Renee Smith said Warwick was among the cheapest places in the state to fill up.

"Warwick has consistently been one of the cheapest places in Queensland to fill up the tank in 2014," she said.

"There is good competition in Warwick with many servos located on main roads with high traffic volumes."

Warwick remained the second cheapest place to buy fuel with cheaper average prices than Toowoomba, Ipswich and Brisbane.

However, she said the prices across regional Queensland had not dropped in lined with global oil prices. Ms Smith said oil's wholesale price had dropped 35cpl, Warwick's average price dropped only around 7cpl and retail margins have increased.

But Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association chief Nic Moulis, who represents mid-sized service stations, said margins were very dependent on individual locations.

"Margins are quite difficult to establish as the price on the boards, we'd hope for all our members, reflects the individual circumstances of that operator," he said.

"Around 130c of the price is the cost of refined fuel and tax. Another around 16c would then be to operate the commercial site. So that might mean an actual margin of just four to six cents."

Ms Smith said having an independent operator in the market could significantly drive down prices - an assertion Mr Moulis agreed with.

"Independents do change the commercial framework in the market. They don't operate off such a formulaic mother of business as the big oil companies. They're a lot closer to the community in my mind."


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