Record high petrol prices in South Africa — How much more you will pay from tomorrow

South Africans will be paying more for all fuel types in July following a surge in international oil prices over the last few weeks.

On Tuesday, the Central Energy Fund (CEF) announced the new official prices for petrol, diesel, and illuminating paraffin, which will come into effect on Wednesday, 7 July 2021.

The inland price of 95-octane unleaded petrol will increase by 26 cents per litre, climbing to a new record of R17.39 per litre. Its previous highest price was R17.32 in April.

Similarly, the inland price of 93-octane unleaded petrol will increase by 29 cents per litre to R17.20, surpassing its previous high of R17.10.

Diesel vehicles will have to deal with even bigger increases of 42 cents for 500ppm, and 41 cents for 50ppm.

The fuel price increases that take effect from tomorrow are as follows:

  • 95 unleaded petrol — increase of 26c/l
  • 93 unleaded petrol — increase of 29c/l
  • 500ppm diesel — increase of 42c/l
  • 50ppm diesel — increase of 41c/l
  • Illuminating paraffin — increase of 36c/l

These increases are unexpectedly high when compared to the forecast of the Automobile Association earlier this month.

The organisation anticipated only a 6c per litre decrease for petrol and a 20c increase for fuel, based on unaudited mid-month data.

The increases were driven by an unusually sharp rise in the international price of petroleum between 28 May and 1 July 2021.

Global demand for fuel increased as many countries at advanced stages in their Covid-19 vaccine rollouts have seen economic activity return to normal levels.

This situation has been exacerbated by the failure of the OPEC+ energy alliance – which controls most of the world’s fuel resources – to reach a deal on oil output capacity in light of the rising demand.

Last Thursday, the Brent and US crude oil prices shot up to more than $75 per barrel, the highest level since 2018. This increased even further yesterday, and analysts expect prices to skyrocket if no deal is reached.

Fortunately, the rand appreciated against the dollar over the period under review, with the average exchange rate at R13.92 compared to R14.11 during the previous period.

This led to a lower contribution to the Basic Fuel Prices (BFP) on petrol, diesel and illuminating paraffin by 10.12 c/l, 9.78 c/l and 9.48 c/l, respectively.

The table below shows the changes in the inland fuel prices from June to July 2021 and how much more you will pay to fill up a 40-litre or 60-litre tank with particular fuels.

Fuel price changes – July 2021
Fuel (inland) June official (per litre) July official (per litre) Increase on 40-litre tank Increase on 60-litre tank
Unleaded 95 petrol R17.13 R17.39 R10.40 R15.60
Unleaded 93 petrol R16.91 R17.20 R11.16 R17.60
500ppm diesel R14.67 R15.09 R16.80 R25.20
50ppm diesel R14.71 R15.12 R16.40 R24.60
Illuminating paraffin R8.77 R9.13

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Record high petrol prices in South Africa — How much more you will pay from tomorrow