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Seasonal patterns in daily prices of unleaded petrol across Australia


  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Valadkhani, Abbas, 2013. "Seasonal patterns in daily prices of unleaded petrol across Australia," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 720-731.
  • 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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    References listed on IDEAS

    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.
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    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.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:ecanpo:v:57:y:2018:i:c:p:44-59 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Laura Birg & Anna Goeddeke, 2016. "Christmas Economics—A Sleigh Ride," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(4), pages 1980-1984, October.
    3. Valadkhani, Abbas & Babacan, Alperhan, 2014. "Modelling how much extra motorists pay on the road? A cross-sectional study of profit margins of unleaded petrol in Australia," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 179-188.
    4. Hashimi, Hasham & Jeffreys, Ian, 2016. "The impact of lengthening petrol price cycles on consumer purchasing behaviour," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 130-137.
    5. Valadkhani, Abbas, 2013. "Do petrol prices rise faster than they fall when the market shows significant disequilibria?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 66-80.
    6. Juan Luis Jiménez & Jordi Perdiguero, 2013. "“One more lie: the ‘Monday effect’ in Spain’s retail petrol market”," IREA Working Papers 201324, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Dec 2013.


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