Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Fuel price war offers drivers short-term relief

A fuel price war of sorts has erupted in Echuca-Moama since a new service station opened up on the Northern Hwy in December.

MONIQUE PRESTON January 3, 2013 4:23am

Echuca-Moama residents are reaping the rewards of a petrol price war, with unleaded prices dropping to their lowest point in 21 months.

Petrol has fallen by 10 cents at most service stations in Echuca-Moama in the past week following the opening of a United service station on the Northern Hwy on December 21.

Unleaded petrol was selling for 139.9 cents/litre at most Echuca-Moama service stations on Monday.

The last time petrol was available for as low as 139.9c in Echuca-Moama was in early March 2011.

The Riv reported some prices of 139.9c in its March 9 edition in 2011, however, other service stations had already put their prices up to 146.9c.

Independent pricing analyst David Cumming said it was usual for service stations to undercut others in town when they first opened.

He said drastically low prices often lasted for two weeks before they would start to go up again.

This was just long enough to get new service stations in the public psyche, causing people to check prices as they passed, he said.

Mr Cumming said towns like Echuca had a ‘‘large margin’’ they could discount prices from, but didn’t expect the drastic low prices to last.

However, he said he would expect United to stay slightly under the other service stations.

‘‘For them to play the game properly, they have to sit one to two cents below (the others) for quite some time,’’ he said.

Those who use diesel were not quite as well off as those with unleaded, however United’s price on Monday was significantly less than anywhere else in the two towns.

United was selling diesel for 141.9c, much less than the 149.9 to 151.9c price at other Echuca-Moama service stations.

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