File picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA).

Johannesburg - Large reductions in fuel prices are being forecast for December, according to the Automobile Association's analysis of unaudited mid-month fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund (CEF).


"After months of sustained pressure on the fuel price, fuel users will receive a substantial breather at the end of November going into December if the current fuel price trends continue," the AA said in a statement on Thursday.

"The main driver of lower prices has been an accelerating decline in international oil prices, which have trended downwards since the beginning of this month. The picture has been helped along by a modest improvement in the Rand / US dollar exchange rate. 
The current data predicts a massive drop of R1.54 per litre for petrol, with diesel dropping by 92 cents and illuminating paraffin by 85 cents."

Earlier this month, the energy department announced that the price of petrol would remain unchanged in November, while diesel increased by 48 cents (500 ppm) and 51 cents (50 ppm). The wholesale price of illuminating paraffin rose by 28 cents.

While optimistic the fuel price ahead of the December break, the AA said that the department re-introduction of the Slate Levy to manage price changes meant that they cannot rule out the possibility that this may impact the final figure. 

"Fuel users should also bear in mind that recent oil production cuts by Saudi Arabia could result in oil supply restrictions as we move into 2019, pushing prices higher. 

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While the current fuel price picture is the rosiest it has been for several months, caution should remain the watchword."

IOL