Bloemfontein - Hefty fuel price increases can be expected next month, the Automobile Association of SA (AA) said on Thursday.

“Data from the Central Energy Fund is currently predicting big jumps in the fuel price for February,” said AA spokesman Graeme Scala.

Prices were showing a potential climb of between 28 and 32 cents a litre for petrol, 15 cents a litre for diesel, and nine cents a litre for illuminating paraffin.

Scala said the exchange rate had deteriorated from a South African perspective after remaining fairly flat during December.

“The rand is now testing R11 to the US dollar mark, and although international petroleum prices have declined over the same period, the drop has not been enough to offset the increased exchange rate,” he said.

If the spike in the exchange rate flattened, the figures could improve, but for now it was not looking good, he said. - Sapa