South African motorists can expect further relief at the pumps in February, with mid-month data from the Central Energy Fund showing a slight drop in the petrol price.
The data shows the petrol price at an over-recovery of 12 cents per litre for both grades, and around 35 cents per litre for diesel.
Illuminating paraffin could see a drop of 33 cents per litre, next month.
The fuel price is determined by fluctuations in the price of international petroleum, and the changes in the exchange rate between the rand and US dollar.
The rand has held firm against the dollar at the start of January, with US data and international trade tensions pushing the currency below R14 to the greenback.
Things could shift slightly as the SARB Monetary Policy Committee starts its three-day meeting on Tuesday, leading up to the interest rate announcement on Thursday, which could bring some volatility locally.
Oil prices, meanwhile, edged upwards in the first half of the month, pushing above $60 a barrel – however weaker economic data from China this week has drawn prices down again, with the current spot price sitting at just under $59 a barrel.
Should market conditions persist to the end of the month, South Africans will see a third month of petrol price drops, following the two significant decreases seen in December and January, which saw a combined reduction of R3 per litre.
Analysts have noted that local politics, including elections in May, and investor confidence – things that impact the rand and exchange rate – will determine the course for the petrol price in 2019.
Here is the expected petrol price based on mid-month estimates:
|Fuel||January official||February Expected|
|0.05% Diesel (wholesale)||R13.14||R12.79|