With a week to go until December’s fuel price sums are finalised, the outlook is positive for both petrol and diesel.
The latest daily snapshot from the Central Energy Fund, released on November 24, shows a strong over-recovery for the month so far, pointing to a possible decrease of R1.03 for 95 Unleaded petrol.
However, the petrol price equation has come under strain in recent days due to a weaker rand, and if that trend continues, the petrol decrease could instead land somewhere between 90 cents and R1.
Those with diesel vehicles can look forward to a much bigger increase with the latest data pointing to price cuts of more than R2.20 per litre, notwithstanding the aforementioned rand issues that could erode that slightly.
A significant diesel reduction is good news for the economy and for general inflation, given how transport costs filter their way into almost everything.
Diesel has seen some brutal price increases this year, but a R2.20 decrease in December, following November's 85 cent cut, will bring prices to within 70 cents of where they were in January 2023.
“South Africans planning long journeys for their end-of-year holidays will, no doubt, be extremely happy with this news, as will consumers who suffer when particularly diesel prices increase,” the Automobile Association said.
The wholesale price for 50ppm diesel is currently listed at R23.69 in coastal regions and R24.40 inland, but this excludes the retail margins which vary between outlets.
95 Unleaded petrol currently costs R23.18 at the coast and R23.90 inland, where 93 ULP is pegged at R23.44.
December’s projected fuel price decreases come as a result of international oil prices having softened further this month. Brent Crude oil, for instance, has been trading in the $80 to $82 (USD) range for most of the month, after hitting highs of close to $98 as recently as September.
Keep in mind that the December price cuts that we spoke of earlier are predictions based on unaudited data.
The official petrol and diesel price adjustments will be announced by the Department of Minerals and Energy early next month before coming into effect on Wednesday, December 6.