A number of recent articles claimed that Japan was paying less for Australian natural gas than Australians are. That surprised me because I always thought natural gas was very cheap here in Victoria, and remember uni lecturers telling me that we were underpaying for gas here. Did I have it wrong?
The articles lacked specific numbers so I went looking for data myself. What I found was less dull than I expected, so I put it in this graph:1
So it is true that gas prices in Victoria have been very cheap in the past, especially compared to Japan. But recently Victorian prices have jumped up, and that coincides with a fall in world prices.
That is presumably why gas prices are a big deal in politics now.
- International Monetary Fund: www.imf.org/external/np/res/commod/index.aspx
- Australian Energy Regulator: www.aer.gov.au/wholesale-markets/wholesale-statistics/victorian-gas-market-average-daily-weighted-prices-by-quarter
- Reserve Bank of Australia: www.rba.gov.au/statistics/historical-data.html#exchange-rates
Disclaimer: I know hardly anything about natural gas or its pricing! I just looked up numbers from reliable sources, standardised the units and graphed them. There might be subtleties in natural gas pricing that I failed to account for. ↩