6 Dec 2010

Petrol price hit for as holiday season approaches

1:03 pm on 6 December 2010

Christmas holidaymakers face an expensive festive season this year, with petrol prices reaching levels not seen since 2008.

Fuel prices rose by 4 cents a litre at the start of the month, meaning motorists are now paying one $1.89 a litre of 91 octane petrol and $1.29 cents a litre for diesel.

The Automobile Association's petrol watch spokesperson, Mark Stockdale, says the price rise is due to a spike in the price crude oil and a falling exchange rate.

He says while prices normally fall at this time of the year, a bad winter in Europe is pushing up prices.

But Caltex spokesperson Sharon Buckland says the price is being affected by an increase in the basic price of fuel on the Singapore market, where New Zealand buys most of its supplies.

Ms Buckland says that appears to be driven by increased optimism over the recovering of the US economy and further economic growth in China, two of the world's top oil consumers.