Commenting on unaudited mid-month fuel price data issued by the Central Energy Fund, the AA said international fuel prices have climbed by more than 20% since the last week of January.
“A spike in the Rand/US dollar exchange rate has also put pressure on the fuel price, with current data predicting a March price increase for petrol of around 68 cents a litre, with diesel and illuminating paraffin up by approximately 45 and 48 cents a litre, respectively,” the AA said.
The Association believes this was the first under-recovery in several months, and that substantial improvement in both the exchange rate and international petroleum prices would be needed if motorists were to avoid a fuel price hike at the end of the month.
On February 4, the Gauteng pump prices decreased by 93c for 95 octane fuel to R10.31/l and by R1.02/l for 93 octane petrol to R10.09/litre.
The wholesale price for diesel decreased by R1.02c/l to R9.26/l and R9.30/l for different types of diesel and by R1.50/l for illuminating paraffin to R6.45/l.
This followed even bigger decreases in January as the international oil price nose-dived due to over-supply in the market.
“It’s too early to tell whether the uptick in fuel prices is mere volatility or a sign that the bottom of the cycle has been reached,” the AA said.
“We would therefore advise motorists to be cautious before committing the money they have saved on fuel over the past few months to other expenses.”