Petrol price set for sharp rise in March

The price of petrol may rise by as much as R1 per litre next month (4 March), while the wholesale price of diesel may go up by 80 cents.

This is according to Paul Joubert, senior economic researcher at the Solidarity Research Institute, and would follow seven straight months fuel cuts stretching back to August 2014.

Joubert noted that from an average price of about $44.40 per barrel in January, the price of a barrel of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec)’s oil has so far in February traded at about $53.10 – an increase of about 20%.

“With the weakening of the rand since 8 February the average exchange rate is also no longer serving as a cushion against the rising dollar oil price,” the research lead said.

The expected prices for March would still be approximately R3 per litre cheaper than in the same period a year ago, the institute said.

In the first week of February, the price of all grades of petrol dropped by 93 cents a litre.

In early January the price of 93 and 95 octane petrol decreased by R1.27 and R1.23 a litre.

The current price for a litre of 95 Octane petrol in Gauteng is R10.31.

According to the latest data from the Central Energy Fund, the fuel price is showing the following under-recovery:

  • 93 Octane petrol – 80 cents
  • 95 Octane petrol – 84 cents
  • Diesel 0.05% – 64 cents
  • Diesel 0.005% – 64 cents
  • Illuminating paraffin –  65 cents

Solidarity that the applicable period during which the price changes are determined still run to 26 February, while the final announcement will be made on 27 February.

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Petrol price set for sharp rise in March