Fuel price data turns positive, but don’t get your hopes up just yet

April could bring small fuel price decreases. Picture: Newspress

April could bring small fuel price decreases. Picture: Newspress

Published Mar 12, 2024


Fuel prices have been heading in the wrong direction for the past few months, but the tide could be about to turn.

Since late last week, the daily data from the Central Energy Fund (CEF) has been showing an over-recovery in fuel prices for the first time in months.

However it is perhaps too early to celebrate as we’re still seeing an average under-recovery of around 25 cents for petrol, but the equation will soon turn positive if current trends persist and the stronger rand holds its ground.

Unfortunately even if there is a price decrease next month, it’s likely to be a modest one. And a small consolation following this month’s R1.21 per litre increase.

The diesel picture looks more positive, with the month average being 11 to 13 cents in the green, and with the latest daily data showing an over-recovery of more than 80 cents, those figures are likely to grow if there are no nasty shocks on the oil price front.

Diesel prices increased by between R1.06 (500ppm) and R1.19 (50ppm) at the beginning of March.

Oil prices remain stable, for now

In spite of oil production cuts having been extended, international oil prices have for the most part remained stable this month.

According to AFP, Russia, Moscow, Saudi Arabia and other OPEC+ members earlier this month announced extensions to oil production cuts first introduced in 2023 as part of an agreement among oil producers to boost prices following economic uncertainty.

The plan to extend cuts to mid-2024 comes on top of previous cuts to both oil output and exports as some of the world's largest energy producers drive to push up market rates.

However, with Middle Eastern conflict concerns easing, Brent Crude oil was stable at around $82 at the time of writing on March 12.