South African motorists have been warned to expect another petrol price hike in May. The Automobile Association says data from the Central Energy Fund indicates a hike of 52 cents for unleaded 93 and 56 cents for 95.

Diesel and paraffin users can expect some relief. Diesel is expected to cost 31 and 57 cents less a litre for the different grades. Illuminating paraffin is predicted to go down by 32 cents a litre.

DECREASE IN DIESEL BUT HIKE IN PETROL PRICE

The AA’s Layton Beard says the decrease in the price of diesel and paraffin is certainly good news. Especially as the country enters colder months.

Petrol price hike on the cards
Petrol price hike on the cards

Also read: Big jump in petrol and diesel prices on Wednesday

“The decrease in diesel and paraffin prices is certainly good news, especially as the country enters colder months. But the increases to the petrol prices will add more strain to already stretched budgets. Consumers are advised to revise their budgets accordingly,” Beard said.

“There is no doubt these are difficult times, and petrol price increases will come as bad news for many who will have to dig even deeper in their pockets to keep mobile.

“The surge in international oil prices is the main driver contributing to the under-recovery in petrol. The average Rand/US Dollar exchange rate during April is actually providing some relief, without which the increases could have been higher.”

Current unaudited data from the Central Energy Fund (CEF) is indicating a mixed bag of increases and decreases to fuel prices for December. This is according to the Automobile Association (AA).

The Association said the data is indicating significant increases to petrol prices of between 97c/litre and R1.09/l. But there might be a decrease of up to 34c/l for diesel next month. Illuminating paraffin is expected to increase by around 30c/l.

According to the data, the average upward movement in international product prices is the main driver behind the increase to petrol prices. The slight downward trend in international diesel product prices is having the reverse impact on this fuel.

The rand is performing stronger against the US dollar in daily trading. Especially since the second week of November, which is having a positive impact on fuel prices.

Fuel prices on the rise
Fuel prices on the rise

FUEL PRICES PREDICTIONS 

“With these expected increases, the price of a litre of 95ULP will climb to just under R24/l. Which will be way below the high of R26.74/l seen in July. But higher than September, October, and November prices.

The decrease to diesel is welcome and should, at least, not immediately negatively impact other prices reliant on diesel as an input cost. The increase for illuminating paraffin remains a concern as it will affect the poor most,” said the AA.

The association said it must be noted these are mid-month figures and are likely to change before the final adjustment for December later in the month.

“However, increases to petrol prices are almost certain to happen. The decreases to diesel are also almost a certainty. Given that many people will be travelling by vehicle in December we advise motorists to carefully plan their budgets to ensure they have the necessary funds to cover their expenses, which may include toll fees on certain routes.”

The AA said planning for year-end trips must include ensuring vehicles are in good condition.