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After a steep fall in January, petrol and diesel prices are currently on track for more cuts in February, the latest information from the Central Energy Fund shows.
However, recent strong gains in the oil price and a weaker rand may put price cuts at risk.
The fuel prices are usually adjusted on the first Wednesday of a month and determined by the price of oil and the rand-dollar exchange rate.
Based on the latest oil and rand prices, the fund’s data shows that the price of 95 unleaded petrol could be cut by around 14c in February, with 93 petrol due for a 7c decrease.
Diesel prices could decline by between 37c and 49c a litre, based on current estimates. This could bring the Gauteng diesel price to below R21 for the first time since March. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine triggered a spike in oil prices since February.
Petrol is already back at pre-invasion levels.
However, gains in the oil price and the dollar before the end of the month could still thwart fuel price declines. On Tuesday, Brent rose by more than 2% to above $86 per barrel following stronger-than-expected Chinese economic growth data.
In addition, the rand came under pressure this week. After reaching R16.70/$ last week, on Tuesday it was trading around R17.20.
At the start of January, the petrol price (both 93 and 95 unleaded) was cut by R2.06 a litre, while diesel was lowered by between R2.69 and R2.81. – bbc.com