Mid-month data from the Central Energy Fund points to another hike in fuel prices in March, following sizeable increases in the first two months of 2021.
The CEF data shows an under-recovery in prices across the board, expected to rise around 55 cents per litre for petrol, and 46 cents per litre for diesel.
- Petrol 95: increase of 56 cents per litre;
- Petrol 93: increase of 54 cents per litre;
- Diesel 0.05%: increase of 45 cents per litre;
- Diesel 0.005%: increase of 47 cents per litre;
- Illuminating Paraffin: increase of 40 cents per litre.
While the mid-month data serves as a snapshot, the Department of Energy makes adjustments based on a review of the full period. Furthermore, the outlook can change significantly before month-end.
The mid-month prices provide a strong indication of moving trends. Prices are affected by two main components – the rand/dollar exchange rate, and the changes to international petroleum product costs, largely driven by oil prices.
At mid-February, the ZAR/USD exchange rate is contributing to an over-recovery of around 8 cents per litre – however, rising international product prices are contributing to an under-recovery of around 64 and 54 cents per litre to the under-recovery for petrol and diesel, respectively, causing the deficit.
The rand is currently trading at a 52-week high against the dollar at R14.50. Strength has been largely attributed to a weakening dollar, hit by massive stimulus plans in the United States.