Here is the expected petrol price for September

 ·15 Aug 2023

As has been the running theme since the start of the month, South African motorists need to brace for a hefty price hike at the pumps in September.

Mid-month data from the Central Energy Fund is currently pointing to a massive petrol price hike of R1.35 to R1.40 per litre next month, while diesel has a much bigger hike on the cards of around R2.60 per litre.

If these prices follow through to the end of the month, motorists will see fuel prices climb back over R23 per litre.

These are the expected changes:

  • Petrol 93: increase of 136 cents per litre
  • Petrol 95: increase of 139 cents per litre
  • Diesel 0.05%: increase of 260 cents per litre
  • Diesel 0.005%: increase of 259 cents per litre
  • Illuminating paraffin: increase of 253 cents per litre

Daily snapshot data for LP Gas is not presented by the CEF.

The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has noted that its daily snapshots are not predictive and do not encompass other possible modifications, such as slate levy adjustments or retail margin changes. The department determines these adjustments, considering various factors, at the end of the month.

Domestic fuel costs are primarily governed by the rand/dollar exchange rate and international oil prices. In South Africa, the fuel price is adjusted on the first Wednesday of every month based on these two factors.


Unfortunately for South African motorists, both of the key factors impacting local fuel prices are working against them leading up to September.

Market conditions have hammered the rand so far in August, sending the unit back above R19 to the dollar and keeping it squarely on the back foot.

The reasons for the rand’s poor performance are varied – from local issues that persist, like load shedding and dampened businesses and consumer sentiment, to global markets being in a risk-averse mindset.

According to local economists, the rand’s positioning is more a result of the global risk aversion, however, with Investec chief economist Annabel Bishop noting this week that the ‘summer holiday’ period in the northern hemisphere is contributing to this.

Economists at Nedbank noted that the rand’s weakness mainly reflects the impact of a stronger US dollar, which continues to drift higher, while also flagging local problems around the Cape Town taxi strike and generally flat economic data pointing to marginal growth in 2023.

Contrary to the start of the month, the rand/dollar exchange rate is no longer helping buffer local fuel pricing, with the weak rand now contributing to an under-recovery in pricing.

The rand/dollar exchange rate accounts for 16-17 cents per litre in potential price hikes for September.

Oil price

The other big kick in the wallet for South African drivers is the rising oil price.

Oil prices have shot up in August so far as global markets have seen stronger demand, while supplies have been cut short.

While oil prices started the week a bit softer – after worries over China’s economy stifled demand projections – costs have been rising steadily over the past month.

Prices have moved from about $75 a barrel in July to $86 a barrel and beyond, leading to a massive under-recovery in local fuel prices.

The under-recovery due to rising oil is sitting at between 120 and 242 cents per litre.

According to Bloomberg analysis, oil has been surging since late June as OPEC+ kingpins Saudi Arabia and Russia cut supplies, tightening the physical market and helping to drain inventories.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates global demand has been running at a record pace, aided in part by Chinese petrochemical activity.

The IEA expects the broader deficit in the oil market to support higher prices during the remainder of 2023.

According to Nedbank, oil supply fell by 910,000 barrels per day (bpd) in July to 100.9 million bpd, primarily due to the production cuts in Saudi Arabia.

OPEC+ output decreased by 1.2 million bpd to 50.7 million bpd, more than offsetting the impact of the rise in non-OPEC supply by 310,000 bpd to 50.2 million bpd.

The IEA revised its 2023 demand growth forecast to 102.2 million bpd, the highest level on record, from 102.1 million projected in July.

This is how the prices could reflect at the pumps in September:

InlandAugust OfficialSeptember Expected
93 PetrolR22.43R23.79
95 PetrolR22.83R24.22
Diesel 0.05%R20.21R22.81
Diesel 0.00%R20.52R23.11
Illuminating ParaffinR14.63R17.16
CoastalAugust OfficialSeptember Expected
93 PetrolR21.71R23.07
95 PetrolR22.11R23.50
Diesel 0.05%R19.48R22.08
Diesel 0.00%R19.81R22.40
Illuminating ParaffinR13.71R16.24

Read: Double blow for petrol prices in South Africa

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