Big petrol price drop expected in December

The petrol price could decrease by more than 70 cents a litre and the wholesale price of diesel could fall by about 50 cents on 3 December, the Solidarity Research Institute (SRI) said on Tuesday (18 November).

With the expected decrease, the price of petrol will be lower than it was a year ago. It will be the first time in five years that petrol is cheaper on an annual basis, the trade union said.

It follows a 45 cents per litre cut on 5 November.

Paul Joubert, senior economic researcher at the SRI, said that the weaker rand is counteracting a reduction in local fuel prices at present.

He said the rand traded at an average of approximately R11.12 against the US dollar in October. So far, it has traded marginally weaker at an average of R11.14 during November.

“Fortunately, international petroleum product prices, the other factor that determines local fuel prices, have so far continued to decline along with oil prices during the course of November,” Joubert said.

The price of Opec oil, which was $86.29 a barrel in October, has averaged nearly 10% lower at $77.67 a barrel in November so far, he added.

The expected reduction would take the price of 93 octane petrol in Gauteng to approximately R12.28 a litre, which is below the price of R12.97 a litre that applied in December 2013.

“In November 2009, petrol was R1.30 cheaper than in November 2008, but in the subsequent five years the price of petrol has consistently been higher than it was a year before,” said Joubert.

Joubert said the relevant period for calculating December’s local fuel prices only ends on Thursday, 27 November.

He indicated that, should the rand or oil prices experience large fluctuations between now and then, the fuel price adjustments in December could deviate significantly from this projection.

The Department of Energy will announce the final fuel price changes on 28 November.

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