JOHANNESBURG – Following the brutal spate of fuel price increases that motorists have endured this year, there will be no major shocks at the pumps in September. In fact a slight decrease is looking possible for petrol and highly likely for diesel.
Mid-month data released by the Central Energy fund shows that diesel is looking set for a price decrease of around 15 cents, although an even bigger reduction is likely if current trends persist.
On the petrol front, the month’s average thus far points to a 1 cent decrease for 93 Unleaded and a 3 cent increase for 95 Unleaded. However, that is largely due to the price equation having been in the red earlier this month. The equation has turned positive in recent days and if that trend continues then a small petrol price cut is looking likely for both grades.
International oil prices have declined slightly since the beginning of August, the Automobile Association pointed out, following OPEC’s announcement that it would increase output by 400 000 barrels a day. The South African rand has also remained relatively stable throughout the month.
“Oil fell throughout the first week in August, flattened out, and subsequently fell further. If this trend is maintained, there is a possibility of price decreases for all fuel grades by month end. This would bring some welcome relief after last month’s heavy increases,” the AA said.
However, the association warned that the rand was trending slightly weaker and that this could weigh down on the fuel price equation between now and the end of the month.
Little consolation to motorists
However, even a slight decrease across the board will be of little consolation to motorists, with both grades of petrol having increased by 91 cents per litre at the beginning of August and diesel by 55 cents. This means that South Africans now pay R17.58 for a litre of 95 Unleaded petrol at the coast and R18.30 in the inland regions, where 93 Unleaded retails for R18.11.
Petrol prices have increased by more than 20 percent since January 2021, and the current taxation structure is not helping, with levies currently accounting for R6.11 per litre. This also means that fuel is significantly more expensive than in many neighbouring countries.
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