Petrol price rankings: South Africa vs the world

While South Africa may not have the highest petrol price in the world, its residents pay the highest proportion of their annual income at the pumps.

This is according to Bloomberg’s Petrol Price rankings.

The ranking looks at the per litre fuel prices in 61 countries across the globe, and also looks at the per-litre cost as a percentage of the average daily and annual income.

South Africa has the 43rd highest petrol price in the world – at R13.67 a litre – which is low down on the list compared to some European countries.

However, as with 2014’s ranking, South Africans still pay the biggest portion of their annual income in fuel costs – with 4.07% of average annual salaries going to petrol fees.

The closest country to South Africa in these terms is Greece, which pays 3.30%.

“South Africans face a lot of pain at the pump, which is exacerbated by how much gasoline they consume,” Bloomberg said.

“In no other country do people spend of their paycheques fueling up.”

In recent months, the weakness of the rand versus the US dollar has exacerbated matters, with the latest data from the Automobile Association (AA) indicating that any potential reduction in the fuel price in October may be offset by the currency’s poor showing.

Most expensive petrol prices

Norway remains the most expensive country in the world for a litre of petrol, charging the equivalent of R25.36 per litre.

According to Bloomberg, the country doesn’t subsidise fuel at the pump, rather using its “oil riches” for free college education and infrastructure projects. It also has the biggest share of electric vehicles in the world, per capita.

The top 10 most expensive countries has seen a few changes compared to last year, with Hong Kong climbing to second (R24.81 per litre) pushing the subsequent nations – Netherlands, Italy and Denmark – down one place.

The UK also climbed to 6th (R22.73 per litre), followed by Turkey, Israel, Greece and Switzerland.

# Country Price per Litre (ZAR)
1 Norway 23.36
2 Hong Kong 24.81
3 Netherlands 23.63
4 Italy 23.29
5 Denmark 22.78
6 United Kingdom. 22.73
7 Turkey 21.94
8 Israel 21.90
9 Greece 21.82
10 Switzerland 21.81

Petrol prices as a % of daily wage

This category refers to the portion of daily wages that would be needed to buy a litre of petrol.

2014’s number 2 – India, has shot up to top spot, with 21.05% of the average daily wage required to buy a litre of petrol at R12.99. This is higher than Pakistan’s 20.77%, at R9.52 a litre.

As with 2014’s ranking, South Africa is one of the costliest countries in the world, shooting up from 10th place to 5th in 2015. The average daily income in South Africa is $16, according to Bloomberg – thus it takes 6.79% of that for a litre, or over 26% per gallon (3.8 litres).

# Country % of average daily wage
1 India 21.05%
2 Pakistan 20.77%
3 Philippines 11.91%
4 Indonesia 7.61%
5 South Africa 6.79%
6 Turkey 6.64%
7 Bulgaria 6.60%
8 Romania 5.54%
8 Nigeria 5.54%
10 Thailand 5.46%

Petrol prices as a % of annual income

This refers to the portion of annual income spent on fuel purchases.

South Africa is by far the worst off here, spending the biggest annual portion on fuel price. The ranking is relatively unchanged, with Mexico (3.23% at R10.98 per litre) climbing ahead of Cyprus (2.9% at R18.21 per litre).

# Country % of average annual income
1 South Africa 4.07%
2 Greece 3.30%
3 Mexico 3.23%
4 Cyprus 2.91%
5 Canada 2.84%
6 Indonesia 2.60%
7 Russia 2.52%
8 Croatia 2.42%
8 New Zealand 2.42%
10 Slovenia 2.38%

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Petrol price rankings: South Africa vs the world