Petrol rises 'too much, too soon'
By Mathew Dearnaley
4:00 AM Saturday Jan 16, 2010

Pressure is on the big oil companies to reverse their latest price rises after industry small fry Gull announced yesterday it had no intention of following them upwards.

Automobile Association senior analyst Mark Stockdale said increases imposed by the four big companies on Tuesday of 6c a litre for petrol and 4c for diesel were unjustified and should be rescinded.

He endorsed Gull's decision to hold the line after an easing of fuel import costs since Tuesday, and said the big suppliers should have waited before raising their prices for their second time in two weeks.

Their latest increases followed rises last week of 4c for petrol and 2c for diesel, after a stable period in which the companies absorbed cost increases and held their prices over the Christmas-New Year break.

That has meant an increase of 10c a litre on petrol and 6c on diesel since early last week.

Mr Stockdale acknowledged that the suppliers had shown goodwill to motorists over Christmas in the face of rising import costs, but said Tuesday's increases were "too much and too soon" after last week's rises, and noted that the New Zealand dollar remained firm against the US greenback.

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