The price of petrol is projected to fall by a significant amount in March, while the wholesale price of diesel is anticipated to remain stable following a big drop in February.
Paul Joubert, senior researcher at Solidarity Research Institute said that the rand has, on average, been trading at slightly stronger levels of around R16 to the dollar in February – from an average of about R16.35 in January.
“International dollar-prices of wholesale petrol have been trading significantly lower over the past 10 business days than in January, but diesel has been slightly more expensive, after falling sharply in January,” Joubert said.
“If the current over-recovery for petrol persists until 25 February, the retail price of petrol will fall by about 80 cents per litre,” he said.
The researcher stressed that if the rand weakens again, or international petroleum prices increase, the drop will be lower. “There isn’t much chance of the expected decrease swinging around totally to an eventual increase, though.”
Joubert said that the wholesale price of diesel is currently on a knife-edge. If current conditions persist, wholesale diesel prices will fall by about a cent on 2 March, “but this can easily change”.
Solidarity said that at the end of the month, the finance minister is likely to announce the annual change in the amount of the fuel levy and Road Accident Fund levy to be implemented on 6 April.
Currently, the fuel levy is R2.55 per litre for petrol and R2.40 on diesel. The Road Accident Fund levy is R1.54 per litre on both petrol and diesel.
These levies are fixed nominal amounts per litre and only change annually on the first Wednesday of April.
The price of petrol is approximately 20% higher than it was in February 2015, “but should it fall by about 80 cents in March, it will only be about 3% higher than it was in March 2015,” Joubert said.
The price of oil continues to trade at around the $30 mark – despite a 5% rise overnight to $31.43.
The rand was priced at R15.89 against the dollar in morning trade on Friday, down from a worst level of R17.995 in December.
Here are the current inland prices for petrol and diesel:
- 93 LRP – R12.15
- 95 LRP – R12.43
- Diesel 0.05% Sulphur – R9.43
- Diesel 0.005% Sulphur – R9.47