Bleak outlook for fuel prices in March

Unaudited data from the Central Energy Fund (CEF) is indicating yet another significant increase in the price of both grades of petrol, diesel, and illuminating paraffin in March, according to the Automobile Association (AA) which has reviewed the data.

The Association says the expected increase will create even more financial woes for South Africans as they scramble to absorb these expected increases.

According to the latest figures from the CEF, the increase to 95ULP is noted at R1.20/litre, while the increase to 93ULP is forecast to be R1.15/l. Diesel is showing an increase of around R1.18/l, while illuminating paraffin is set to increase by 63c/l. If realised the increases will result in 95ULP inland costing R24.44/l, and 93ULP inland will be R24.10/l.

“The main driver behind the increases is higher international product prices in addition to the higher average Rand/US Dollar exchange rate. While the weaker Rand is contributing a small margin to the under-recovery expected next month, the overall picture still looks bleak and consumers will feel the pinch,” notes the AA.

There is some good news for consumers though; the two main levies on fuel – the General Fuel Levy (GFL), and the Road Accident Fund levy (RAF) will not be increasing for the third consecutive year.

“These levies are traditionally increased in February and implemented in April, but the Minister of Finance heeded calls by the AA and in his February Budget Speech indicated that this will not happen again this year. Although not a saving as such, any increases would have added additional pressure to fuel prices, and we again welcome his decision not to increase these rates for 2024,” concludes the AA.

The official adjustment of the fuel prices comes into effect on 6 March, the first Wednesday of March.