The trend for fuel prices over the coming weeks is difficult to predict and will depend on a range of factors...- RACV's Jackie Pedersen
Holidaymakers heading away for the Christmas-New Year period are rejoicing as unleaded petrol prices in Warrnambool sit at 175.9 cents per litre.
The current prices are a far cry from the 224.2 cents south-west motorists were paying in June.
RACV general manager automotive services Jackie Pedersen said what would happen to prices in the coming weeks was "difficult to predict".
She said prices for unleaded fuel in the south-west had decreased over the past two weeks.
On December 5 the average cost of unleaded fuel was 183.4 cents in Colac, 169.8 cents in Hamilton, 174.1 cents in Portland and 181.9 cents in Warrnambool.
On December 19 the average cost of unleaded fuel was 177.9 cents in Colac, 163.8 cents in Hamilton, 168.9 cents in Portland and 177.8 cents in Warrnambool. This compares to the December 19 average price of 173.9 cents in Melbourne.
Melbourne's average price on Tuesday was 1.88 cents per litre with metro prices ranging between 161.9 cents to 199.9 at various fuel outlets. Geelong's fuel prices ranged from 171.9 to 179.9 cents.
There was less fluctuation in Warrnambool on Tuesday with most petrol stations selling unleaded for 175.9 cents and only one outlet's fuel priced at 177.9 cents.
"Regional prices don't always change at the same time as Melbourne which is what can cause fluctuations or differences between locations because they are not in the same pricing cycle," Ms Pedersen said.
"The trend for fuel prices over the coming weeks is difficult to predict and will depend on a range of factors, including geographical area, availability, international benchmark prices, taxes, the value of the Australian dollar relative to the US dollar and levels of competition in different areas."
In mid-June in Warrnambool the majority of outlets were selling unleaded fuel for prices between 199.3 and 204.2 cents, which was cheaper than metro areas at 214.3 cents.
At this time some south-west outlets were selling unleaded for 219.3 and 224.2 cents which was consistent with the rest of the state.
Across Victoria unleaded fuel was being sold at a variety of prices, most ranging between 199.7 and 224.9 cents.
In March when the federal government announced a petrol excise would be slashed by 22 cents per litre Warrnambool prices hovered around 199.9 cents.
In July most Warrnambool service stations were charging between 190 and 192 cents for unleaded petrol.
In mid-September, the fortnight prior to the excise cut ending, Warrnambool's weekly average for unleaded petrol price was 179.8 cents per litre. The regional Victorian average price was 164.2 cents per litre.
The weekly average for diesel was 206.2 cents per litre for regional Victoria in the same period.
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