File picture: Timothy Bernard / Independent Media.

Johannesburg - After being hit with fuel price hikes every month this year so far, South African motorists can look forward to some relief in July.

Although it’s too early to predict July’s fuel prices with certainty, if current trends persist we should be looking at a petrol price decrease in the region of 90 cents a litre, while diesel could fall by around 70 cents. This is the picture painted by the latest data released by the Central Energy Fund, 12 days into the 28-day cycle that will determine July's prices.

For this you can thank plunging oil prices which have fallen from an average of US $71 in May to around $62-63 in June so far, but the rand remains a wildcard and has so far been eroding what could have been a bigger decrease.

However, should the rand continue on its path of recovery seen in the last few days, a petrol price decrease of one rand or more is certainly not out of the question. The local currency took a knock earlier in the month due to government arguments over the Reserve Bank’s mandate, as well as dismal GDP figures and US President Donald Trump’s ongoing trade wars. 

However, a cooldown in the latter threats along with upbeat local manufacturing data saw the currency appreciate in early week trade. The rand was trading at R14.78 at the time of writing on Wednesday, but had hit lows of around R15.10 earlier in the month.

Five consecutive increases

Motorists have been hit with five fuel price increases since January, essentially making a litre of petrol R2.78 more expensive than it was at the beginning of the year, while diesel prices have risen by R2.11.

A litre of 93 Unleaded currently costs R16.57 per litre in Gauteng, with 95 Unleaded retailing at R16.76, while those at the coast are paying R16.12.

IOL Motoring