Johannesburg: South African motorists can expect a small petrol price decrease from Wednesday, but those with diesel vehicles will be hit with another huge increase.
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe announced on Tuesday the price of both grades of petrol would decrease by 12 cents a litre from 4 May, but low-sulphur 50ppm diesel will increase by 92 cents a litre and the regular 500ppm will see a 98 cent rise. Illuminated paraffin will rise by 79.6 cents a litre.
After the small petrol price decrease comes into effect, motorists will pay R21.12 for a litre of 95 Unleaded at the coast and R21.84 in the inland regions, where the slightly cheaper 93 Unleaded will retail for R21.51.
If you’re putting 30 litres into a small hatchback with a 35-litre tank, such as a Kia Picanto, a fill-up will now cost you R633.60 at the coast (95 ULP) and R645.30 in Gauteng (93 ULP), which is a saving of R3.60. Putting 35 litres in a Volkswagen Polo will now cost R739.20 at the coast and R752.85 inland, a R4.20 decrease. 50 litres of 95 ULP in a mid-sized vehicle like a Toyota Rav4 will command R1056 (coast) and R1092 (inland), a R6 saving.
Huge increase for diesel fuel
The wholesale price of 50ppm diesel will increase to R21.56 at the coast and R22.15 inland, while 500ppm are listed at R21.37 and R21.99 respectively. Keep in mind however that the retail prices, which vary from station to station, will be somewhat higher than that.
Either way, putting 75 litres of diesel into your bakkie or SUV will cost an extra R69 from Wednesday.
Even steeper increases ahead
According to the Energy Department, the average Brent Crude oil price decreased from an average of $109.37 the previous month to $104.78 during April, while the rand appreciated, on average, from R15.02 to R14.90. However, the latter part of the month saw the currency sink to its current level of around $16 to the dollar. At the time of writing the oil price was listed at $107.58, which does not bode well for June’s fuel prices.
But why is petrol coming down but diesel going up?
The department stated that while the average international price of petrol decreased during April, diesel increased sharply due to lower exports from Russia, which is a major producer of distillate fuel.
Unless there is another intervention from government, June will see sharp increases for both petrol and diesel. This is because the current fuel “tax holiday”, which sees R1.50 being temporarily deducted from the general fuel levy, comes to an end on 31 May.
Follow IOL Motoring on Facebook for regular automotive news and fuel price updates