JOHANNESBURG - South African motorists can look forward to a slightly lower petrol price in January, according to current projections, but those filling up with diesel are likely to pay more from the first Wednesday of next month.
According to mid-month data released by the Central Energy Fund, the petrol price scenario for the month so far is pointing to a price decrease of 17 cents a litre, although that could increase to 20 cents or more if current rand and oil price trends persist. On the downside, however, this will simply cancel out the 22 cent petrol price increase that was imposed at the beginning of December.
On the diesel front, things are currently averaging out at zero cents, down from a projected decrease earlier in the month, but if the current trends continue then diesel customers will be hit with a slight price increase in January. December saw a 15 cent drop in diesel prices due to a seasonal decline in demand, but that situation has reversed in December.
Rand comes to the rescue
December’s petrol price hike was driven by surging international oil prices, which rose from $59.72 to $62.68 per barrel during November, and unfortunately that trend has continued in December, with the crude oil price hovering near three-month highs at around $64.30 at the time of writing. This is due to renewed hopes that a fully fledged US-China trade deal is in the pipeline, according to Reuters.