Tony O'Kane | Jul 6, 2009

PETROL PRICES have continued their incessant march upwards for the eighth week in a row, but are expected to moderate in coming weeks.

The Singapore oil price has dropped around six percent over the past fortnight, leading economists to predict the pump price of petrol to fall by as much as five cents within the next two weeks.

That would take local petrol prices to around 120 cents per litre, around 20 percent lower than at the same time last year. Meanwhile, as reported in The Age (6/7), a study by CommSec has revealed that profit margins for oil companies are increasing, with the wholesale price of petrol rising 5.5 percent over the past year - up from a long term average of 4.4 percent.

Will the fall in international oil prices translate into meaningful savings at the bowser, or will the oil companies simply pocket the difference?

We think it is time Mr Graeme Samuel and the ACCC took another look at the levels of actual competition within the market. The 'comfortable oligopoly' would appear to be getting even fatter and more comfortable off the pockets of motorists.

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