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By Cornelia Le Roux

Digital Deputy News Editor

December fuel price: Motorists could find cheer at the petrol pumps this festive season

The December diesel price looks set to be the cheapest since August, while petrol price relief is also on the horizon.

Mzansi motorists will be pumping for joy come next week Wednesday when the petrol and diesel price is set to take a festive dip just in time for the holiday season.

End-of-the-month data from the Central Energy Fund (CEF) indicates that the petrol price is likely to come down by around 98 cents in December, while diesel is looking set for significant reductions of between R2.23 (500ppm) and R2.29 (50ppm).

The wholesale price of illuminating paraffin is on track for a cut of R1.71 a litre.

Expected changes in petrol, diesel

Fingers crossed the latest predictions will materialise at the pumps, bringing the price of 95 Unleaded petrol down to around R22.20 at the coast and R22.92 inland, while 93 Unleaded should cost in the region of R22.46.

The wholesale price of 50ppm diesel should decrease to about R21.40 at the coast and R22.11 inland – although one would have to add the wholesale margin of around R2, varying between outlets.

ALSO READ: Biltong or beer? Here’s what you can buy after latest fuel price drop

Department always has final say…

The unaudited data from the CEF, however, does not reflect any possible adjustments to the monthly slate levy.

The official petrol and diesel prices for December are set to be announced early next week by the Department of Mineral Resources (DMRE) before coming into effect on Wednesday, 6 December.

November’s fuel price also brought some welcome relief to cash-strapped motorists when petrol was lowered by R1.78 a litre and diesel took an 80c dip. 

Rand/dollar and global oil prices

South African fuel prices are largely determined by international oil costs and the rand exchange rate, as oil is priced in dollars.

The average price of Brent crude oil over the past month was $82.62 a barrel, from $88.72 the previous month due to increased production and fears over global economic growth.

This was confirmed by Investec chief economist Annabel Bishop:

“December’s projected fuel price decreases come as a result of international oil prices having softened further this month. Brent crude oil, for instance, has been trading in the $80 to $82 range for most of the month, after hitting highs of close to $98 as recently as September.”

Bishop added that the fuel price hikes in September and October pushed inflation higher – but price cuts in November, as well as the expected cuts in December will thankfully have the opposite effect.

The average rand/dollar rate over the past month has strengthened to R18.55, from R19.16 in the previous month.

  • The DMRE will announce the official petrol and diesel price adjustments on Monday, 4 December before it will come into effect on Wednesday, 6 December.

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