There’s a little less to Janu-worry about this month, with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) confirming significant petrol and diesel price cuts for January.
The price of 95 Unleaded petrol is set to drop by 76 cents per litre when the official fuel price adjustments come into effect on Wednesday, January 03, while 93 Unleaded will fall by 62 cents. Diesel will decrease by between R1.18 (500ppm) and R1.26 (50ppm).
This means a litre of 95 Unleaded petrol will now cost R21.77 at the coast and R22.49 in the inland regions, where the cheaper 93 Unleaded is reduced to R22.17.
The wholesale price of 50ppm diesel is now listed at R20.02 at the coast and R20.73 in Gauteng, keeping in mind that retail prices, which differ between outlets as this fuel is unregulated, will be higher than that.
January’s price cuts are due to a combination of lower international oil prices and a 26 c/l decrease in the Slate Levy, which compensates fuel companies for price fluctuations during the preceding month. The rand depreciated marginally but not enough to significantly offset the latter two gains.
While these fuel price cuts will bring much needed relief to consumers, this comes on the back of some steep increases during the second half of 2023.
“Although we are expecting fuel to be cheaper in January, we remain concerned about the overall high prices which impact on all consumers,” the Automobile Association said.
“If the expected decreases are realised, petrol prices will still be higher than they were in January 2023, but diesel prices will be marginally cheaper than at the same time. We must see all of this in the context of consumers who are still recovering from steep fuel price hikes in September and October.”
For the record, 95 Unleaded petrol cost R20.75 at the coast in January 2023, while the wholesale price of 50ppm diesel was R20.78.
It is difficult to predict where fuel prices are heading in 2024, given geo-political threats like the recent attacks on tankers in the Red Sea, along with ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine.
“For this reason, a sustainable solution to mitigating rising fuel costs is still necessary and until that solution is found, citizens will be at the mercy of fuel price hikes,” the AA said.
“We again call on government to urgently initiate a transparent review of the fuel pricing structure to seek this solution.”