South Africans will see the largest fuel price decreases on record at the end of March, according to the Automobile Association (AA), as global oil prices crash amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The official fuel price changes will be announced within the next five days, and will be adjusted next Wednesday, 1 April.
Commenting on unaudited month-end fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund, the AA noted that the crude oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia continues unabated, with demand for oil further suppressed as world economies retreat due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Not even the precipitous fall of the rand against the US dollar has been able to arrest the fuel price reductions, which are historic,” it said.
Unleaded 95 petrol is set for a stunning R2.18 per-litre drop, with 93 set to decrease by R2.05. Both grades of diesel are expected to fall by around R1.65, with illuminating paraffin down R1.98.
“In practice, all these drops will be slightly less, due to the 16-cent increase in the fuel levy, and nine-cent increase in the RAF levy,” the AA noted.
Notwithstanding the addition of the 25 cents for the fuel levies, the expected decreases will bring the country’s fuel prices to levels last seen in late 2017 and early 2018.
“It is unfortunate that these massive reductions are coming at a time where private motoring is severely curtailed, but we would remind motorists that in terms of the lockdown regulations, they are still allowed to fill up their vehicles,” the body said.
However, the fuel price drops would provide much relief to road haulage operators, and offset some of the economic damage resulting from the lockdown, it said.
“We hope that, at this difficult time, companies that benefit will pass these savings back to consumers.”
Here is the expected fuel price, base on the latest numbers, and taking into account the 25 cents per litre tax hike coming next month.
|Fuel (Inland)||March Official||April expected|
|0.05% Diesel (wholesale)||R14.03||R12.64|
|0.005% Diesel (wholesale)||R14.08||R12.67|