Australian motorists benefited from falling petrol prices across the country during March, according to the latest independent Informed Sources petrol price report.
The Executive Director of the Australian Institute of Petroleum, Mr Bryan Nye, said the Informed Sources report for March showed prices fell in the majority of the 100 country cities and towns included in the survey.
"Prices reductions were recorded in 70 of the 100 country centres, with a further eight centres recording no price change," Mr Nye said.
"The fact is that petrol prices are influenced by a range of factors including crude oil prices, regional product prices, the exchange rate and local market conditions.
"Prices rise and fall according to these factors, and accusations of oil company price manipulation are simply unfounded."
Mr Nye said the recent price rises in the lead up to the Easter break were the result of the normal weekly cycle of petrol pricing, together with increases in international prices, which in turn affect Australian wholesale prices.
"Product prices in the Asian region have increased substantially over the last week, with shortages in the United States creating additional demand for imports from the region. This could certainly lead to higher prices at the pump," Mr Nye said.
"The Australian petroleum industry is intensely competitive, delivering prices among the lowest in the western world.
"Despite accusations by some that prices are continually creeping higher, the March petrol price data shows in most centres the opposite was in fact the case."
The full March petrol pricing data is available at the Informed Sources website: www.informedsources.com.au, while more background information on petrol price movements can be found at AIP's website: www.aip.com.au.