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

Johannesburg - South African motorists and commuters have been hit with some shocking fuel price hikes in the past few months.

A litre of petrol costs R2.26 more than it did four months ago, and R1.26 more than it did at the beginning of the year - factoring in the fuel price relief that we saw in February and March. Diesel has gone up by R2.35 since March and R1.49 since January.

Although there is no sign of any substantial price relief on the horizon, there may be some stability in August if current trends persist.

In fact recent daily data shows a small ‘surplus’ or over-recovery thanks to a stronger rand and lower international oil prices. However, the August price calculation will be based on an entire month of data (29 June to 26 July) and the sums were not working in our favour earlier in the month.

Yet the outlook has most certainly improved. At the beginning of the month the rand to oil price calculation was pointing towards an increase of around 50 cents for both petrol and diesel, but now that average has fallen to 17 cents for petrol and 13 cents for diesel. Should current market trends persist, we could be looking at a smaller increase, or perhaps even a modest decrease.

However, as the Automobile Association cautions, further volatility for the remainder of the month cannot be ruled out, particularly given how suddenly the rand weakened earlier in the month on Geopolitical threats - this being given as the main reason for the current average fuel price under-recovery.

IOL Motoring