Now, this is how South Africans want to start 2019. Data released by the Central Energy Fund shows that motorists can expect another major decrease in petrol prices for January 2019, with costs predicted to drop by as much as R1.

Consumers have had a difficult 2018, with petrol prices reaching their highest in the country’s history. In November, car owners were paying over R17 per litre to fill their tanks and December represents the first month of price cuts since April.

According to the latest data, petrol could soon cost less than R14 a litre.

Data shows the following decreases:

  • 93 Petrol – 132 cents decrease
  • 95 Petrol – 134 cents decrease
  • 0.05% Diesel – 153 cents decrease
  • 0.005% Diesel – 156 cents decrease
  • Illuminating Paraffin – 144 cents decrease

This is how prices could look in January 2019 based on the latest available data (inland prices):

Fuel December official January expected
95 Petrol R15.24 R13.90
93 Petrol R15.02 R13.70
0.05% Diesel (wholesale) R14.68 R13.15

The government is currently working on a plan to restructure the way South Africa’s fuel prices are calculated in order to avoid price increases as harsh as this year’s from happening in the future. To this end there is a speculated cap on the price of 93 grade petrol, which is expected to be tabled in January.

The Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) said, “The expected decreases are attributable to continued downward movement in international product prices.”

The global oil price does not necessarily influence the nation’s petrol prices, but it does have an effect on the cost of international petroleum, which South Africa imports.

In this case, the predicted drop in petrol price will rely on market conditions remaining steady towards the end of December this year. These conditions include a lower price for international petroleum and the rand remaining stable.

The exchange rate between the rand and the dollar is another factor that affects petrol prices in the country. The rand weakened against the dollar this week following international political tensions regarding Brexit and the trade war between the US and China. Earlier in December, the exchange rate stood at around R13.55 to the dollar.

The AA also said that “much will depend” on political and economic stability during the remainder of December, both in South Africa and abroad.

“The local economic outlook remains sluggish, while international trade considerations and political instability in oil-producing regions could … push international oil prices back up. Despite this, we are hoping these factors are not enough to deny South African fuel users another much-needed breather at the pumps at the start of the new year,” they said.

Picture: Pexels

Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.