Petrol prices continue to bottom out in Echuca-Moama with the average petrol price falling by 10 cents at most service stations since December.By Ruth Clayton
Echuca petrol prices have remained among the cheapest in regional Victoria after dropping to a 21-month low three weeks ago.
Echuca’s average petrol price last week was 138.3 cents/litre, the cheapest of 30 rural Victorian towns on the Australian Institute of Petroleum’s research website and even cheaper than the 139.9 cents/litre recorded on January 1.
It is also cheaper than the Melbourne average last week, which was 139.6 cents/litre, and the Victorian state average of 140.8 cents/litre.
Petrol fell by 10 cents at most service stations in Echuca-Moama in late December and early January following the opening of a United service station on the Northern Hwy on December 21.
Last week’s average price in Echuca is a far cry from what consumers were forced to pay only two months ago.
Echuca recorded an average petrol price of 150 cents/litre for the week ending December 2 and 152 cents/litre for the week ending November 4.
Independent pricing analyst David Cumming said petrol price margins for Echuca were currently very good.
Mr Cumming said Victoria’s unleaded petrol wholesale price was currently 130 cents/litre and, with delivery costs, margins for Echuca service stations were about 4-5 cents/litre.
‘‘That is unusual for country areas,’’ Mr Cumming said.
‘‘They tend to operate on a much larger margin than that.
‘‘(It’s) better than you would normally expect from that distance from from Melbourne.’’
Mr Cumming said it would appear the new service station had led to greater competition, but it probably would not last in the long-term.
He new service stations had cheap fuel between three and four weeks after opening to let consumers know they were there.
‘‘They’ve created an expectation that they would be cheaper,’’ Mr Cumming said.
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