Diesel price speeds past cost of petrol

Robert Laing

Robert Laing

Diesel prices will overtake petrol prices at midnight tomorrow when petrol drops 15c a litre while diesel goes up 15c a litre.

Wednesday's petrol price decrease follows July's 8c drop, taking the price back to May's level before June's 23c a litre increase.

Farmers filling their tractors with diesel and truckers who in turn carry their produce to market have had no pause in price increases since February.

Wednesday's 15c a litre hike in diesel follows an 11c a litre increase in July. The price of diesel has risen 20percent since February.

Government fixes the retail price of petrol but the wholesale price of diesel. The prices announced by the minerals and energy department showed diesel to be 34c a litre cheaper than petrol. But after an average retail margin of 48c a litre has been added, the diesel price will overtake the petrol price in August.

Wednesday's petrol price drop will result in Gauteng motorists paying R6,88 a litre of 93 octane - petrol commonly used inland - while coastal motorists will pay R6,77 for 95 octane.

Two types of diesel are sold in South Africa: one with a sulphur content of 0,05 percent and the other with 0,005 percent, which is more environmentally friendly but also more expensive.

The 15c increase takes the wholesale price of diesel with 0,05 percent sulphur to R6,51 in Gauteng and R6,38 at the coast.