The first summer holiday out of lockdown could be ruined by high petrol prices. In recent weeks the price of regular unleaded has climbed in the Illawarra.
The highest price as of Wednesday morning was 181.9 at the Caltex servo at Brownsville, while the lowest was 159.9 cents a litre at a number of stations between Towradgi and Bellambi.
At the high end, that means filling a 60-litre tank would cost more than $100.
On average the price of unleaded is around 175 cents a litre - and it is unclear when motorists can expect any relief.
According to motoring body the NRMA the fuel market is so volatile right now it is shying away from making any price predictions between now and Christmas.
"We're really not forecasting any lowering of prices for the foreseeable future," the NRMA's John MacGowan said. "If anything there's a risk that they could keep going up."
While the price rise did coincide with areas of the state coming out of lockdown and being able to travel, Mr MacGowan said the high prices weren't the result of petrol company gouging.
A large part of the reason for high prices is everyone is coming out of lockdown.
"The entire world is coming out of lockdown and, particularly in the United States and United Kingdom where things are getting back to normal, you're starting to see demand skyrocketing," he said.
"There's huge demand from the Chinese agricultural market for oil and the situation with OPEC where they are just refusing to increase production."
That had led to Australian petrol companies having to pay unusually high prices to get fuel to our shores.
Mr MacGowan said prices could get even worse if OPEC didn't increase production - with the coming European winter sure to drive a vast demand for fuel, which will cause prices to rise even further.
He said now more than ever motorists should be using either of the fuel price apps from the NRMA and the state government to ensure they're paying as little as possible to fill up their tank.
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