Petrol price rises, cost of diesel eases

From Wednesday, the price of both 93 and 95-grade unleaded petrol will rise by 59c a litre while the wholesale cost of diesel will fall by R1.52 to R1.57 a litre.

The department of mineral resources and energy said in a statement on Tuesday that petrol prices had increased because of  higher demand by motorists travelling for the Thanksgiving season in the United States, amid limited supply caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

South Africa’s fuel prices are influenced by global oil prices and the currency exchange rate; the country imports both crude oil and finished products, which are priced in US dollars.

The rand appreciated from an average of R18.11 to the dollar in October to R17.43 in November. The average Brent oil price fell from $90.79 to $88.77 a barrel. 

“Increased demand resulted in a decrease of gasoline inventories and higher prices,” the mineral resources and energy department said.

It added that refineries were producing more middle distillates, such as diesel, illuminating paraffin and gas, to meet extra winter demand in the northern hemisphere and were consequently producing less petrol.

In Gauteng, 95-grade unleaded petrol will cost R23.46 a litre from Wednesday, while the price of illuminating paraffin will decrease by 57 cents a litre.

The Automobile Association (AA) had forecast a petrol price hike of between 60 and 71 cents a litre.

“The stronger showing of the rand against the US dollar, especially in the second half of November, is softening those increases by around 37 cents a litre,” the AA noted.

“The decrease in diesel and paraffin prices is encouraging. Diesel is a major input cost in many sectors and the decrease to this fuel cost is positive for all consumers. While positive, the suggested retail price of diesel in December will still be around R6.20/l more expensive than it was in January, which will have resulted in higher prices to goods and services during 2022.”

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