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Seasonal patterns in daily prices of unleaded petrol across Australia

Listed author(s):
  • Valadkhani, Abbas

This study addresses a very significant policy issue not previously examined at a disaggregated level for Australia by identifying on which day(s) petrol is more expensive and in which locations discount days are non-existent. After conducting a time series analysis of the day of the week effect in retail prices of unleaded petrol in 114 locations across Australia (Jan 2005 to Apr 2012), it is observed that prices mostly peak on Thursday/Friday and then decline until they hit their cyclical trough mainly on Sunday/Tuesday. However, these daily differences are only statistically significant in capital cities or large regional centres. A cross-sectional analysis of the mean prices during the period Nov 2007 to Feb 2012 shows that (a) in remote and less populous locations, where sales are presumably limited and overhead costs are high, petrol is more expensive; (b) petrol generally costs more in places which exhibit less price variability. The disaggregated and location-specific results can increase our understanding of Australia’s retail petrol market and can be beneficial to motorists as well as various government and non-government organisations such as the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission), AAA (Australian Automobile Association) and FuelWatch.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

Volume (Year): 56 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 720-731

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Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:56:y:2013:i:c:p:720-731
DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2013.01.050
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  1. Sarath Delpachitra & Diana Beal, 2002. "Petrol Prices Disparity: Did The Removal Of Price Surveillance Create Price Competition?," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 21(1), pages 56-65, March.
  2. Valadkhani, Abbas, 2010. "Modelling the Price of Unleaded Petrol in Australia’s Capital Cities," MPRA Paper 50396, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Abbas Valadkhani & William F. Mitchell, 2002. "Assessing the Impact of Changes in Petroleum Prices on Inflation and Household Expenditures in Australia," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 35(2), pages 122-132.
  4. Zhongmin Wang, 2009. "Station level gasoline demand in an Australian market with regular price cycles ," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 53(4), pages 467-483, October.
  5. Higgins, Eric James & Peterson, David R, 1999. "Day-of-the-Week Autocorrelations, Cross-Autocorrelations, and the Weekend Phenomenon," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 34(4), pages 159-170, November.
  6. Zhongmin Wang, 2009. "(Mixed) Strategy in Oligopoly Pricing: Evidence from Gasoline Price Cycles Before and Under a Timing Regulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(6), pages 987-1030, December.
  7. Zhongmin Wang, 2008. "Collusive Communication and Pricing Coordination in a Retail Gasoline Market," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 32(1), pages 35-52, February.
  8. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1988. "A Theory of Dynamic Oligopoly, II: Price Competition, Kinked Demand Curves, and Edgeworth Cycles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(3), pages 571-599, May.
  9. M. J. Fields, 1931. "Stock Prices: A Problem in Verification," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4, pages 415-415.
  10. Kirchgassner, Gebhard & Kubler, Knut, 1992. "Symmetric or asymmetric price adjustments in the oil market : An empirical analysis of the relations between international and domestic prices in the Federal Republic of Germany, 1972-1989," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 171-185, July.
  11. Wills-Johnson, Nick & Bloch, Harry, 2010. "A simple spatial model for Edgeworth Cycles," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 108(3), pages 334-336, September.
  12. Mitchell, Jason D & Lian Ong, Li & Izan, H.Y, 2000. "Idiosyncrasies in Australian petrol price behaviour: evidence of seasonalities," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 243-258, April.
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