Cape Town - With exchange rates traditionally highly volatile over the quieter festive season trading period, it's still not cut and dried that South African fuel prices will come down in January.
From the department of energy's latest figures it appears that there is an average over-recovery of 8.6c per litre for petrol and 15.6c for diesel. This means that the petrol price could be reduced by at least 8c and wholesale diesel by 15c on January 6 if the rand/dollar exchange rate and global fuel prices remain unchanged for the rest of the month.
But since November 27 - the beginning of the review period on which the next fuel-price adjustment is based - the rand has weakened from R7.40 to R7.73/$.
Also, American crude prices firmed on Wednesday to above $74/barrel after the freezing weather in the northern hemisphere led to purchases that depleted oil reserves. The oil price fell from $78.37/barrel on December 1, its highest level in a month, to as low as $69.51/barrel on December 14 before it began to rise again, Bloomberg reports.
Official fuel-price changes are only expected to be announced on January 4.
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