Financial pain at the bowser is starting to wane, with motorists feeling the flow-on effects of the Federal Government’s fuel excise cut. Motorists in Katanning are now back to paying less than $2 per litre for standard unleaded after a temporary cut to the fuel excise in last week’s Federal Budget. The average price for unleaded in Katanning was $2.04/L on March 30, the day the fuel excise cut was implemented. Prices had dipped by nearly eight cents per litre to an average price of $1.96/L by Monday. The cheapest place to fill up with unleaded in Katanning on Monday was Shell Roadhouse on Bay Street at $1.92, while both Shell and Caltex Woolworths on Clive Street were selling diesel for $1.99/L. Fuel prices in Kojonup have also decreased, but both unleaded and diesel remained above $2/L in the town on Monday. Motorists around the country have been hit by increasing fuel prices because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The surge prompted Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to slash the fuel excise in half — representing a saving of 22 cents per litre — as part of his pre-election Budget. It is expected to take weeks for some regional consumers to feel the full price difference as retailers continue to sell off fuel bought before March 30. CommSec said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent the benchmark Brent crude oil price soaring to 14-year highs of $US139.13 a barrel in early March, prompting economic sanctions on the aggressor at a time when prices were already rising. That was due to OPEC producers restraining supply and a strengthening of consumer demand as COVID-19 restrictions eased, with the war contributing to an energy market disruption on the same scale as the 1970s Arab oil embargo and Iranian revolution. “The crude oil supply crisis could be alleviated fairly quickly if OPEC and its allies chose to lift current production levels from their agreed quotas,” CommSec said. “Also, Russian-Ukrainian ‘peace talks’ are ongoing. “Should Russia decide to scale down its ‘military operation’ then financial and export sanctions on Russia by Western countries could be scaled-back. “And renewed lockdowns in China — the world’s top consumer of oil — are expected to reduce demand for crude in the near-term, placing downward pressure on oil prices.” The fuel excise cut is expected to cost the Budget about $3 billion and will remain in place until September.