Petrol up, diesel down in February. This is according to the unaudited month-end fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund. International oil prices have reached a slightly higher plateau after climbing in the first half of January.

Over the same period, the Rand has firmed gradually against the US dollar. It began the month at nearly R14.50 to the dollar and is current hovering around R14.00, offsetting the oil price rise to some degree.

The current picture shows petrol increasing by around eight cents a litre, while diesel is set to drop by three cents and illuminating paraffin by nine cents. The difference in the price changes relates mainly to the differences in the international product prices of diesel and petrol.

What is worth noting is that the average Rand strength against the US dollar has been increasing for nearly a month, and we are hopeful this may point to a period of greater stability for the currency.

If international oil prices continue their current stable trend, South African fuel users may see fewer of the wild swings in fuel prices which characterised 2018.