Fears that Bendigo motorists could soon be paying $2 a litre for unleaded petrol have heightened this week as prices soared past the 170 cents mark.
On Wednesday, the Shell Coles Express outlet on McIvor Road in East Bendigo was selling unleaded petrol for 175.9 cents a litre.
To highlight the massive increase, the Shell/Coles Express outlet on High Street, Bendigo was also selling at 175.9 cents a litre while just one kilometre down the road on High St in Golden Square, the Westside outlet was selling unleaded at 159.9 cents a litre - a 16-cent difference in price.
Other outlets in Bendigo were as high as 169.9 cents a litre this week to end a run of stable petrol prices in the city.
Prices had jumped five cents a litre to 164.9 in October last year and remained there over the Christmas/New Year break until this week's spike.
Bendigo's pain at the pump is all part of a larger trend, with petrol prices hitting near-record levels in Australia's capital cities.
A number of reasons have been given for the price rises with the main one being the impact of the COVID-19 Omicron variant on the fuel supply chain.
Observers also point to rebel raids against Middle Eastern refineries and the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine as mitigating factors.
Another issue has been the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decision to release less oil on to the market, thereby pushing up the barrel price.
The profit margin for fuel - the difference between wholesale and retail prices - is now 19 cents per litre, the highest level on record.
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