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Official fuel prices for December: margin hikes eat into petrol savings

| Economic factors

By: Jason Woosey - IOL

The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has announced the official petrol and diesel price adjustments for December.

Although it is good news across the board, with both grades of petrol decreasing by 65 cents per litre and diesel by between R2.35 (500ppm) and R2.41 (50ppm), the decreases have been eroded somewhat by retail margin hikes built into the price structure by the DMRE.

The over-recovery of 99 cents per litre on petrol, due to lower international oil prices and a slightly stronger rand, would have resulted in a decrease of that amount.

However, the DMRE has awarded a 60 cent increase in retail and wholesale margins as well as secondary storage and distribution, although thankfully a 26 cent decrease in the Slate Levy has counteracted that.

When the fuel price decreases kick in from Wednesday, December 06, a litre of 95 Unleaded petrol will now cost R22.53 at the coast and R23.25 in Gauteng, where 93 Unleaded will now retail at R22.79. The wholesale price of 50ppm diesel will decrease to R21.28 at the coast and R21.99 inland, but this excludes the retail margins which differ between outlets.

Those with diesel powered one-tonne bakkies and their equivalent large SUVs stand to save substantially at the pumps in December, with a 70 litre refuel theoretically translating to a saving of around R176 per tank.

A 30 litre refuel of a small petrol-powered hatchback, on the other hand, should see a saving of around R19.50, while putting 50 litres into a midsize car should cost R32.50 less than it did in November.

“South Africans planning long journeys for their end-of-year holidays will, no doubt, be extremely happy with this news, as will consumers who suffer when particularly diesel prices increase,” the AA said.

However the association urged motorists to ensure their vehicles are in good mechanical condition ahead of the holiday road trip, with tyres inflated to the correct pressure as recommended by the manufacturer.

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