PRICE TOP UP: Grafton’s average price for unleaded was 148.4c/L and 152c/L for diesel.
PRICE TOP UP: Grafton’s average price for unleaded was 148.4c/L and 152c/L for diesel. Thinkstock

Grafton outside top 10 towns in cheap petrol prices

SCRAPING in at number 11, Grafton has again missed out on a place in the top ten towns to score cheap fuel.

Based on statistics gathered by NRMA from March 3, 2012 to September 8, 2012, the average unleaded price for Grafton was 148.4c/L.

The cheapest price was in Sydney at 142.2c/L and the town forking out the most for petrol was Tumut with an average of 156.5c/L.

While he claimed it was near impossible to predict, University of New England professor Abbas Valadkhani, who has written numerous papers on petrol prices, said there was a chance of prices going up in all towns if there was continued unrest in the Middle East.

"We've got to look at things on a macro level, like oil prices," Prof Valadkhani said.

"With the conflict in Syria, and whether the US decides to strike on Syria and whether other countries get involved, will have impact in Australia with oil prices.

"If something extraordinary does happen in the Middle East, prices will most likely go up."

For those with diesel tanks, Grafton scored 20th on the list, with the average price at 152c/L, with our coastal cousin Tweed Heads in third with 150.1c/L of diesel.

So just why are we constantly paying more per litre than our beachside buddies?

Prof Valadkhani is asking the same question.

"I've looked at 113 locations, looking at ones that are similar in destination to the wholesaler, extent of competition, but are charging significantly higher retail margins," he said.

"I'm looking at the nature of the competition around that and there really are massive differences."

"It's a bit of a name and shame - that's my job."

But Prof Valadkhani said as long as there was a good exchange rate, and healthy competition, prices should not be too much of a horror for motorists.



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