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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Fuel prices: Mixed bag for motorists as diesel drops but petrol up

Several international and local factors contributed to the petrol price increase.

The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) announced that both grades of petrol price 93 and 95 octane will increase by 59 cents per litre from Wednesday.

The prices of diesel (0.05% sulphur) will decrease by R1.57 per litre, while diesel (0.005% sulphur) increased by R1.52 per litre.

Meanwhile, illuminating paraffin will cost 57 cents less per litre, while the price of LP gas increases by R0.95 cents per kilogram.

Reason for increases

The DMRE spokesperson Robert Maake said there were several international and local factors that contributed to the petrol price increase.

“The movement in international refined petroleum product prices, diesel and illuminating paraffin in particular, followed the decreasing trend in crude oil prices while the prices of petrol increased during the period under review,” he explained.

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Brent Crude price

The average Brent Crude oil price decreased from 90.79 US Dollars (USD) per barrel to 88.77 USD per barrel during the period under review.

“The oil prices slumped to their lowest level since December 2021, amid fears of lower demand from China due the lockdowns in line with the country’s strict Covid-19 regulations.

“Petrol prices increased due to higher demand by motorists travelling for the thanksgiving season in the US amid limited supply emanating from the Russia Ukraine conflict. Increased demand resulted in a decrease of gasoline inventories and higher prices,” Maake said.

The DMRE said refiners were also producing more middle distillates, such as diesel, illuminating paraffin and gas to meet extra winter demand in the Northern Hemisphere, and consequently producing less petrol.

Rand to US Dollar

The department said the Rand appreciated, on average, against the US Dollar (USD) (from 18.11 to 17.43) Rand per USD during the period under review when compared to the previous one.

“The stronger Rand led to lower contributions to the Basic Fuel Prices of petrol, diesel and illuminating paraffin by 40.31 c/l, 48.94 c/l and 48.98 c/l respectively.”

Slate levy

“In line with the application of the Regulatory Accounting System (RAS), the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy approved a net increase of 21.26 c/l in the annual margin adjustments on petrol and a net increase of 0.67 c/l on diesel and illuminating paraffin wholesale prices, with effect from the 7th of December 2022,” the department said.

Wage increases  

The DMRE Minister Gwede Mantashe also approved a 5.5 c/l increase in the price structures of petrol, to accommodate the wages increase for the Forecourt employees, in line with the Motor Industry Bargaining Council (MIBCO) Agreement.

The 5.5 c/l is already included in the annual margin adjustment on petrol.

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