Big petrol price increases expected in March

Current unaudited fuel data from the Central Energy Fund (CEF) is showing significant increases to petrol prices are likely in March. Commenting on the data, the Automobile Association (AA) says the numbers are also pointing to increases in the wholesale price of diesel and to illuminating paraffin.

According to the data, 93ULP and 95 ULP petrol is expected to climb by between R1.22/litre and R1.27/l, diesel is expected to increase by around 28cents a litre and illuminating paraffin is expected to be 16c/l more expensive in the new month.

“In the case of petrol, the movement in international oil prices is contributing between 76 and 82 cents to the increases while the weaker average Rand to US Dollar exchange is adding about 46 cents to expected increases. In terms of the diesel price, the sole contributor to the expected increases is the weaker exchange rate,” notes the AA.

Based on these numbers, a litre of 95ULP inland will climb from its current level of R21.68/l to R22.90/l, while the price at the coast will increase from around R21.03/l to R22.25/l.

“The increases to the price of petrol are big and will have a negative impact on household budgets. A 50/l tank of fuel, for instance, will now cost R61 more to fill, or R244 if filled four times during the month, which is significant. The cumulative effect on personal finances will be a further reduction of disposable incomes which will be exacerbated by increases to goods and services which must recoup the higher fuel input costs.

“We again urge consumers to monitor their fuel usage carefully, and to budget according to the new fuel prices which come into effect next Wednesday. Ensuring vehicles are well maintained and in good mechanical condition, carefully planning routes, and avoiding heavy traffic, if possible, are some ways in which motorists can ensure better fuel consumption,” the AA concludes.