The Department of Energy has announced the petrol and diesel price changes for February 2019, showing a slight increase.
From Wednesday, motorists will pay 7 cents per litre more for 93 and 95 grades of petrol, and between 1 and 2 cents per litre more for diesel.
The price of illuminating paraffin, however, will drop by 5 cents per litre. The main reason for the fuel increase was rising international petroleum prices, which contributed between 12 cents and 17 cents to the overall hike.
However, the strong performance of the rand over the period offset this, by bringing prices back down by around 11 cents per litre.
“The average international product prices for Petrol, Diesel and Illuminating Paraffin increased during the period under review,” the department said.
“The Rand appreciated against the US Dollar during the period under review, on average, when compared to the previous period.”
The average Rand/US Dollar exchange rate for the period 27 December 2018 to 31 January 2019 was 13.9476 compared to 14.1778 during the previous period.
This led to a lower contribution to the Basic Fuel Prices on petrol, diesel and illuminating paraffin by 9.24 c/l, 10.85 c/l and 10.97 c/l respectively.
One of the main contributing factors to rising international petroleum prices is the cost of oil, which has been steadily rising over the month of January.
Big petrol price drops in December 2018 tracked a drop in international oil prices to as low as $50 a barrel – however in recent weeks this climbed back up to the $60 level.
According to the AA, however, the strength of the rand has been a welcome sign that the local economy may be stabilising a bit.
The new prices come into effect on Wednesday, 6 February 2019.
Businesstech, 2 February 2019