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Another hefty petrol price expected in May

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The spike in international petroleum prices accounts for nearly the entire rise in fuel prices predicted by the mid-month data.

Itumeleng English/ African News Agency/ANA

CITY motorists can expect another sharp petrol price increase at the end of this month.

This is according to the Automobile Association (AA), which was commenting on unaudited mid-month data released by the Central Energy Fund.

“Petroleum prices were largely flat in the first week of April, but spiked sharply as tensions escalated in Syria,” the AA said in a statement yesterday.

“The Middle East lies near many of the world’s key oil producers, and petroleum prices have historically been sensitive to instability in the region.”

The rand also weakened slightly against the US dollar in the first half of April, but the AA pointed out that the spike in international petroleum prices accounts for nearly the entire rise in fuel prices predicted by the mid-month data.

“On the current data, petrol is set for a rise of 41 cents a litre, diesel 48 cents, and illuminating paraffin 38 cents. In all of these increases, the movement in the exchange rate accounts for just four cents of the rise,” notes the AA

The predicted increase in May comes on the back of a 72-cents increase in April, meaning, if it materialises, that fuel prices will have increased by more than one rand in the space of two months.

The AA says prolonged instability in the Middle East could drive international petroleum prices higher.

“Several foreign powers have now taken a position in the Syrian civil war. If tensions escalate, or the war itself drags out even further, the outlook for oil prices will become more negative.”