Almost in the middle of the month, the latest data from the Central Energy Fund show that gasoline prices may be reduced in the first week of October.

However, diesel prices are on the way up.

According to the latest data, the price of unleaded 95 petrol is expected to drop by about 1.45 rand per litre. At current levels, the price of 95 petrol in Johannesburg could fall below R22 a liter in October – the first time since May this year.

The price of 93 petrol could drop by about 1.36 rand per litre. However, the price of diesel fuel is currently on track to increase from 66 to 74 cents per liter.

Fuel prices are usually adjusted on the first Wednesday of the month and are based on the price of oil and the rand-dollar exchange rate.

While the rand has fluctuated this month, the price of oil fell to its lowest level since January amid worries about energy demand as sharp interest rate hikes put pressure on global economic growth.

Brent crude was trading below $93 a barrel on Wednesday – after hitting a high of $123 a barrel following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

But diesel prices remain higher than gasoline prices due to reduced diesel supplies worldwide.

READ | Oil and trouble: Why diesel prices aren’t falling that much

This is partly because Europe, which produces more gasoline than it needs, is an importer of diesel, mostly from Russia.

The invasion of Ukraine and subsequent sanctions stopped the flows. This has caused prices to rise as European countries try to find alternative sources of diesel fuel.

In South Africa, ongoing rail problems have led to an increase in truck supplies, boosting local demand for diesel.

South Africa consumed 12.9 billion liters of diesel fuel and 10.77 billion liters of gasoline in 2019, according to South Africa’s Ministry of Energy.

With more than two months to go before the end of the month, October fuel prices can still change significantly depending on oil prices and exchange rate volatility.

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