Australians continue to be awakened by the news that the price of oil has increased to new record levels over night. This then translates into an increased petrol price at the bowser due largely to diminishing fuel stocks.
Last night was no exception and had both the London and New York futures markets for crude oil rocketing past at US$ 130.00 a barrel in what analysts say spells more bad news for motorists.
Yesterday drivers were being asked to pay above $1.60 a litre for the first time in several capital cities.
Motorists in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Tasmania paid the highest price being $1.62 per litre whilst in the Northern Territory drivers have paid above $1.60 for more than a week.
"There's no reason to expect prices to fall away from these levels anytime soon," NAB economist Gerard Burg said. The NRMA, has warned today could be even worse at the bowser, a spokesman said.
The only potential for relief is the continued strength of the Australian dollar, which has reached its highest level above US96 since the currency was floated in December 1983.
The dollar reached US96.54 cents at 4.08am (AEST), data from market data provider IRESS shows. The dollar's previous post-float high of US96.53 was reached on March 16, 1984.
If the currency falls, the price of petrol will climb even further without any movement needed in oil prices.
New York's futures contract, light sweet crude oil for July delivery, crossed at a record high of $US133.82. In London, Brent North Sea crude for July delivery settled at a record $US132.70 a barrel after topping $US133 earlier.
The US Department of Energy's weekly snapshot of energy inventories, unexpectedly showed declines. The Department of Energy report yesterday showed US crude oil stocks fell in the week ended May 16, by 5.4 million barrels to 320.4 million barrels. Most analysts' had expected a build of 300,000.
Petrol inventories dropped by 800,000 barrels, to 209.4 million, confounding expectations of a gain of 250,000 barrels.