AA warns of ‘catastrophic’ fuel price hike

By Jason Woosey for IOL

The fuel price situation in South Africa is threatening to turn into a full-blown crisis, with unaudited mid-month data from the Central Energy Fund indicating that petrol and diesel could see huge increases in November.

The petrol data is pointing towards a price increase of around R1 a litre, and the diesel situation is even bleaker – with a R1.40 increase looking likely.

Keep in mind, however, that these early predictions are based on unaudited data made available on October 14, and it is possible that the situation could change between now and the end of the month.

South Africans are paying record prices for petrol, and a R1 increase would see the cost of a litre of 95 unleaded petrol rising to around R18.60 at the coast and R19.33 in the inland regions, where 93 unleaded petrol could stretch to about R19.10.

A R1.40 diesel price hike would bring the wholesale price up to around R16.55 at the coast and R17.15 inland, keeping in mind that retail prices will be even higher than that as diesel prices are unregulated.

The predicted increases are as a result of surging international oil prices, with Brent Crude recently surpassing three-year highs. At the time of writing, the commodity was trading at $84.86 (about R1250) a barrel, which is $10 more than it was averaging in September.

The rand has mostly played on our side, spending most of October below the R15 to the dollar mark, and trading at R14.70 at the time of writing, however this has not been enough to offset the rising oil prices.

Unless oil prices soften in the coming months, the fuel price is set to cause more hardship for South Africans, as it affects not only the cost of commuting but also the price of food and other essential items that require transportation. Adding insult to injury is that illuminated paraffin is also looking set for an increase of around R1.40.


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