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CANBERRA, Nov 26 AAP

November 26 2012, 8:22PM

Motorists could face petrol price rises of up to two cents a litre over the next fortnight, an economist says.

Commsec chief economist Craig James said on Monday that while the key Singapore gasoline price was up five cents a litre the national average domestic pump price had risen only three cents a litre.

"So another small lift in pump prices of one to two cents a litre can be expected over the next fortnight," he said in a statement.

Australian of Institute Petroleum figures show the average national price for unleaded petrol rose 2.8 cents to 142.7 cents a litre in the week ended Sunday, November 25.

The metropolitan price rose 4.2 cents to 140.5 cents a litre, while average regional price was unchanged at 147.1 cents a litre.

However, Mr James said it didn't make "sense" that Sydney and Melbourne petrol prices rose by around seven cents a litre last week, while Adelaide fell by a similar amount.

"Regulators need to ensure that the vagaries of the discounting cycle aren't serving to disguise an upward drift in average gross retail margins," he said.

Adelaide had the cheapest average unleaded petrol of the major cities last week at 133.9 cents a litre, while Darwin was the dearest at 161.0 cents a litre.