T-Sec economist Mike Schussler said he believes there’s a good chance the petrol price will drop to below R8/ â„“ and diesel to under R8,50/â„“. H e said the latest under-recovery figure indicated R1,38, which meant the petrol price could drop by R1,10 to R1,30 in the first week of Diesel and paraffin prices could drop by 50c/â„“ to 60c/â„“. “But the oil price is jumping all over the place and the rand is jumping all over the place,” said Schussler. “There are warning signs this may be one of the last petrol cuts we will have for a while.” C orné Louw, a Grain SA economist predicted a reduction of 61c/â„“ for diesel and R1,35 for petrol in December.
The reduction would depend on government not implementing new levies on fuel, or changing wholesale or retail margins. L ouw added that the slate levy protecting wholesalers against drops in the fuel price might be increased, but this shouldn’t have a significant influence on the eventual reduction passed onto consumers. I n the longer term, Louw said predictions are guesswork. He believes the rand will strengthen and if oil prices remain stable South Africa could see more affordable fuel for 2009. But some analysts warn the oil price will return to US$80/barrel (R794) to 100/barrel (R993) in the near future. – Wouter Kriel