Pedal to the metal as LPG price tops $1

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THE price of LPG has broken the $1-a-litre barrier on the Border with world demand fuelling the spike.

The record rise has hit Wodonga the hardest with the LPG price sitting above $1 at some of its service stations.

It has been much less severe in Albury with the price ranging from 79.9 and 92.9 cents a litre.

NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury yesterday said this month’s wholesale LPG price of 68.2 cents was a “massive jump” from 51.4 cents last month.

“Fluctuations are never this extreme,” he said.

Mr Khoury said the price had risen as higher demand at the start of the northern hemisphere winter kicked in.

“You always see a seasonal jump and we understand Europe is supposed to be colder than usual this year,” he said.

“There’s also a growing market in China.”

Erin Anderberg, of Chiltern, yesterday said when filling her Ford at 75.9c at Shell on Wodonga’s Melbourne Road, she had never seen LPG priced at more than a dollar a litre.

“Only last month I was paying 69 cents,” she said. “It was only 50 cents when I started buying it two years ago.”

Ms Anderberg said there was no way she would buy gas for more than a dollar a litre.

Riverina Caltex service station owner Nathan Haynes said the price jump could mean it was “a waste of time” having the gas at his Wodonga site, on the corner of Anzac Parade and Chapple Street.

He said contract deals meant he had been forced to raise the LPG price to 103.9 cents, a jump of more than 16 cents on last month.

“People use AutoGas to save money so they hunt around for the cheapest price,” Mr Haynes said.

“We’ve owned the station for six years and this is the most expensive we’ve seen it.

“A lot of customers drive in, see the price and just drive off.

“It’s a waste of time selling it if people can’t afford it.”

Mr Khoury said the NRMA urged oil companies to show restraint during the holidays.

“Heading into Christmas, anyone running off LPG will be affected by the rising costs,” Mr Khoury said.

“Families will find it harder to afford and most cabs run on LPG so it could hurt that industry, too.

“We can say increases are usually seasonal so we hope next month it will start to stabilise.”

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