Cape Town - The weak rand is gobbling up most of the benefits of cheaper oil prices and South African motorists will probably have to fork out more for petrol in December, said the Automobile Association (AA) in a statement released on Tuesday.
Commenting on unaudited mid-month fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund, the AA said: "All fuel types are showing the same picture: the benefit of lower oil prices is being offset by a weaker exchange rate."
As the tug of war between the oil price and the rand/dollar exchange rate continues, the net result is that the mid-month picture shows only small changes in fuel prices which could otherwise have been considerably lower.
"The basic price of unleaded 93 petrol was lower by almost 21 cents a litre at mid-month, but the exchange rate moved nearly 23c/litre in the opposite direction, meaning a potential rise of 2c/litre at the pumps. The picture is similar for diesel (up between 1c and 3c) and illuminating paraffin (up by 5c)," said the AA.
The only winner is unleaded 95, with current data showing a drop of 3c/litre versus a potential drop of 26c had the exchange rate remained steady, said the AA.
"If rand weakness continues to outstrip oil price gains, motorists will be paying more for fuel in December," the AA concluded.