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Thursday, 28 March 2024 12:21

Latest fuel price forecast for April 2024 sees slight increase in petrol and drop in diesel.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

The latest data the Central Energy Fund (CEF) shows an under-recovery of 34 cents for 95 Unleaded petrol and 32 cents for 93 ULP, but if current trends persist until the end of this week, the final price increase for April could land closer to 40 cents.

There is at least some good news on the diesel front, with current numbers pointing to decreases of between 28 cents (500ppm) and 33 cents (50ppm).

The CEF data shows that the under-recoveries have pulled back from over R1.00 per litre for petrol at the start of the month, while the under-recoveries for diesel have remained somewhat stable.

Despite the slight positive movement, the hike building for April will still send petrol prices close to R25.00 a litre (95) and reverse much of the relief given through price drops since November 2023.

Between November 2023 and January 2024, petrol prices have decreased by R3.20. Since February – including April's expected change – fuel hikes have totalled over R2.30.

For diesel, prices have come down since November, with reversals since February, which have also amounted to over R2.30.

The reduction in under-recoveries – and the move into over-recovery for diesel – are thanks to a stronger rand relative to last month and a lower oil price in rand terms.

April is expected only to see a small petrol price hike – as indicated by the CEF – as the international Brent crude oil price has dropped lower in rands.

The weakening value of the rand this week has also resulted in a decline in the chances of getting better petrol prices.

The rand has been fluctuating around R19 to the dollar (currently trading at R18.95) due to the expectation of global interest rates remaining high for an extended period.

Meanwhile, oil prices have surged above $85 per barrel after being stuck in a narrow trading range for most of the year.

A recent analysis by Bloomberg revealed that crude oil advanced overall in the first quarter despite its weakening in recent sessions.

This is due to US inventory drawdowns, OPEC+'s production cuts, and Ukrainian attacks on Russian territory, including against refineries, which intensified.