In May 2020 Orange fuel prices were sitting at 88.2 cents per litre - the cheapest in the state. Less than 18 months later - as the state emerges from lockdown - they're close to double that, and motorists shouldn't expect any relief in the near future.
According to Fuel Check, the average price of unleaded fuel in Orange at 5pm Sunday was 157.03 cents per litre, while diesel was sitting at $1.61 per litre.
The most expensive unleaded fuel was $161.9 at Caltex Orange and Caltex Orange Diesel Stop.
The cheapest options were $151.9 at Metro Lucknow on the Mitchell Highway and $153.7 at Metro Orange on Bathurst Rd.
"It looks like Orange is at the top of its price cycle, and it doesn't appear to be going south anytime soon," said NRMA spokesperson John Macgowan.
"We don't expect there to be much relief for regional prices before Christmas."
Rising fuel prices across the state are largely due to soaring global oil prices, Mr Macgowan said.
"The main reason for these elevated prices continues to be the international oil market, with demand from economies emerging from lockdowns exceeding supply."
Average prices in Orange were expected to remain "in the upper echelons of the $1.50 mark" Mr Macgowan said, "but it's really at he mercy of whether or not OPEC start increasing oil production in the next couple of weeks as we come into the European winter."
Other major centres in the Central West are also seeing high fuel prices. In Bathurst, unleaded fuel is slightly cheaper than Orange at an average of $156.08 per litre. Cowra and Dubbo are more expensive at $162.53 and $162.59 per litre respectively.
Orange motorists can at least take some comfort that they're still paying less than their Sydney counterparts.
"Orange is definitely doing better than Sydney, which continues to be sitting up around $1.71 per litre," Mr Macgowan said.
He said the NRMA's advice to motorists was to "scout around for a bargain."
"As always our recommendation of for folk to check the Fuel Check app and look for the cheapest prices in your neighbourhood.
"We're all very glad to be out of lockdown and able to actually get out beyond a ten kilometre radius and find those prices."
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