Recent reductions in the fuel price have been dealt a blow by a steady increase in international petroleum prices during the first half of February. This is according to the unaudited mid-month fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund.
Oil traded within a very tight band for most of January, but we have seen a steady uptick since February began. This trend has accelerated in the last week in particular. At the same time, the Rand, while currently offsetting some of oil's gains, has been on a weakening trend against the US dollar since the start of February.
The Rand has slipped from R13.20 against the dollar on 1 February to R14.12 on 14 February. This is not good news for fuel users at a time when oil is also rising.
The current data suggests a price increase of 43 cents a litre is in the offing for petrol, 62 cents for diesel, and 47 cents for illuminating paraffin.
If the trendlines for oil and the Rand don't flatten out, there could be worse to come before month end. We advise motorists to factor some fuel price pain into their budgets as we move towards March.