Picture: REUTERS/PAULO WHITAKER
Picture: REUTERS/PAULO WHITAKER

The cost of fuel will rise about 5.5% in June, taking the cost of petrol to a new high and putting further pressure on consumers.

A litre of unleaded 95 petrol, currently R14.97, will rise 82c or 5.4% in Gauteng, while diesel will increase by between 82c and 87c as of June 6, about 6%, the Central Energy Fund said on Friday. Unleaded 93 will also cost an additional 82c.

A 4.4% depreciation of the rand against the dollar during the period under review was the primary reason for the cost increase, which follows hefty increases in April and May.

A litre of illuminating paraffin will cost an additional R82c wholesale — a 9.7% increase. Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) will cost an additional R1.38, or 7% more. The cost of paraffin was a key concern highlighted by the Automobile Association (AA) before the announcement, coming ahead of winter when demand is expected to increase.

Analysts expect further pressure on consumers as the rand comes under threat from monetary policy tightening by central banks in developed countries. Geopolitical risk has also seen some analysts predicting the price of Brent crude moving towards $100 a barrel, but added that this price would not be sustainable.

Earlier in May, the price of Brent crude hit a four-year high of $80 a barrel, but has since retreated.

Increased global fuel prices followed the US withdrawal from a nuclear deal with Iran, which has raised the prospect of further tightening of global oil supplies due to expected sanctions. However, subsequent signals from Russia and Saudi Arabia that they would increase production led to the price of Brent crude dropping to a range of $75 to $77 this week.

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