Petrol price in 2019: Here’s how much fuel prices have soared this year_1

It’s been a shocking year for motorists in Mzansi. Fuel levies have increased, the rand has wobbled and oil prices don’t know whether they are coming or going. These major factors have seen the petrol price increase for nine of the 12 months in 2019 – we’re even finishing the year with an expected 11-cent-per-litre rise.

Petrol price in South Africa for December 2019

According to the AA, diesel and illuminating paraffin will get cheaper. But petrol users won’t feel any Christmas cheer. Bah Humbug, we say…

“The rand / US dollar exchange rate has remained fairly flat throughout November, contributing around a six-cent drop per litre. However, the prices of refined petrol and diesel, which usually track each-other’s movements, but with a fair gap between their prices, have showed an altogether different picture recently,”
“This has led to the unusual situation where diesel is set for a quite substantial decrease of 23 cents a litre, while petrol will increase by 11 cents a litre. Illuminating paraffin, which tends to shadow the diesel price, will also be down, by 25 cents a litre.” AA statement

Petrol price increase over the past year

A turbulent 12 month-period started off so well, but a few major disruptions have put South Africans out of pocket when they’re at the pump. These key dates dictated the tale of the tanks:

January: We started the year with a mammoth R1.22 decrease, as the US upped their own oil production.March-April: The perfect storm of a flailing rand, rising oil prices, and higher fuel levies added R2 onto the petrol price within two months.July: A surprise drop in demand for oil saw one of just three monthly decreases come into play. Thankfully, 95-cents-per-litre was cut from our petrol prices.October: Tensions in the Gulf saw a Saudi oil base wiped off the grid, turning a potential month of decreases into one which gave us an increase of 18-cents-per-litre.November-December: A stable rand took 13 cents off the per-litre price last month, but current forecasts suggest that could be wiped out in the next few days – another increase is on the way.

MonthCoastal pricesInland pricesMonthly change in pricesJanuaryR13.42R14.01Down R1.22FebruaryR13.49R14.08Up seven cents MarchR14.23R14.82Up 74 centsAprilR15.49R16.13Up R1.23MayR16.03R16.67Up 54 centsJuneR16.12R16.76Up nine centsJulyR15.17R15.81Down 95 centsAugustR15.28R15.92Up 11 centsSeptemberR15.39R16.03Up 11 centsOctoberR15.57R16.21Up 18 centsNovemberR15.44R16.08Down 13 centsDecember*R15.55*R16.19*Up 11 cents*

Five key takeaways:

Coastal motorists are paying R2.13 more per-litre, 15.9% up from the start of the year.Inland motorists are paying R2.18 more per-litre, 15.6% up from the start of the year.April saw the biggest monthly fuel increase, with costs shooting-up by R1.23-per-litreIn turn, January’s decrease of R1.22 was the largest drop of the three “kinder months” – only for those gains to be obliterated 90 days later.Good news: The AA believe 2020 will be an “era of stability”. The Rand has hit a level, and oil prices remain steady, meaning that petrol costs should soon be a little cheaper.

The asterix (*) in the table is based on the AA’s latest forecast. The official December price is yet to be confirmed.