Expect major fuel price hikes in February, AA warns

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The problem is international oil prices, which have been consistently climbing. (Getty images)
The problem is international oil prices, which have been consistently climbing. (Getty images)

Unless the picture changes dramatically for South Africa's fragile economy by the end of January, the price of petrol could increase by 80 cents a litre, diesel by around 61 cents a litre, and illuminating paraffin by about 63 cents in February.

This is the view of the Automobile Association (AA) based on unaudited mid-month fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund.

"The problem is international oil prices, which have been consistently climbing with each passing day," the AA said. "A general increase in positive sentiment as Covid-19 vaccines are rolled out has combined with upticks in global economic activity, pushing up demand for oil - and taking prices with it," it said in a statement on Friday.

"Despite some wild swings in the daily exchange rate [of the rand], and the average rate creeping up from around R14.60 to just over R15.00, only four cents of the substantial predicted increases come from rand weakness."

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