AA warns of mixed picture for fuel prices in the months ahead
A volatile oil price and an uncertain rand will keep motorists guessing when it comes to fuel prices in the months ahead
Fuel prices for August are set for changes with petrol up and diesel down. This is according to the Automobile Association (AA), which was commenting on unaudited month-end fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund.
"International oil prices have steadily trended upwards since the start of June, although there has been a slight pull-back since a peak on July 11. Since then, diesel prices have edged higher while petrol remained flat, although the currency remains volatile, particularly in light of recent ratings agency announcements and other factors," the AA said.
Using the latest figures, the AA forecast petrol would increase by around 12c a litre, with diesel down about 16c. Illuminating paraffin is also down, by 8c a litre.
The association says oil volatility is likely to continue, but many competing factors are in play, including US inventory levels, political instability in the Middle East, a possible medium-term demand plateau, and ongoing Opec output restrictions.
"Medium-term oil price forecasts remain subject to considerable uncertainty, as does the rand against the greenback," the AA said.
"The average rand/dollar exchange rate crossed R14.20 last week, despite spending much of July stronger against the US currency. This volatility can come into play before Wednesday’s adjustment and may even have a bearing on the September outlook," the association said.
The AA warned that South African fuel users remain vulnerable to the country's difficult economic position and the vagaries of the international oil price.
"Anything which shocks oil higher or the rand weaker has the potential to cause sharp fuel price increases," it said.