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South African consumers can brace for yet another hefty fuel price hike in March, the Automobile Association said on Monday.
The association expects month-end increases of up to 56 cents a litre for petrol, 47 cents for diesel, and 41 cents for illuminating paraffin.
This is due to bullish international oil prices. The AA was commenting on unaudited mid-month fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund.
“Oil prices advanced at a leisurely pace during January, but the increase has quickened since then. International product prices shot up by around eight percent in the first two weeks of February,” the AA says.
On the plus side, the rand/US dollar exchange rate has worked in South Africa’s favour, with the rand strengthening around 8 cents against the US dollar in February, although this has been far from enough to offset the oil price.
“If oil continues on this trajectory, South Africa’s fuel prices might edge back into record territory in the medium term. Fuel users also remain vulnerable to economic shocks which might weaken the rand,” the AA said.