Motorists have been warned to brace themselves as more petrol price hikes are expected this month.

From Wednesday, a litre of 93 unleaded petrol will go up 11 cents while 95 unleaded petrol is expected to go up 8 cents a litre.

This will raise the cost of a litre of 93 unleaded petrol from R12.96 to R13.07 for inland motorists, while a litre of 95 unleaded petrol will go up from R13.26 to R13.34.

Announcing the adjustments yesterday, the Department of Energy said diesel with 0.05 percent sulphur will go up by 42 cents a litre, while 0.005 percent sulphur diesel will go up by 41 cents a litre.

Also going up is illuminating paraffin, with the wholesale price set to go up by 57 cents a litre. Gas is likely to go up by 12 cents a kilogram.

“The main reasons for the fuel price adjustments in July 2016 are (a) the strengthening of the rand against the US dollar during the period under review, which cushioned the fuel prices by more than 17c a litre; (b) the slight increase on average in the prices of petroleum products in the international markets; (c) an increase in the prices of crude oil, on average, mainly due to supply disruptions in Canada, Venezuela, Libya, Nigeria and Iraq,” the department said in its statement.

The department urged motorists and others to “use these petroleum products effectively during these tough economic times”.

Professor of Economics at Wits University, Jannie Rossouw, told The Star this morning that the petrol hike would cause inflation to go up.

“The more serious concern is the knock-on effect that is expected on transport costs.

“It’s to be expected, as the rand continues to weaken and the price of oil strengthens,” he explained.

Rossouw said food price hikes could be expected and that the price of any transported goods may also be affected by the petrol price increase.

“There’s a possibility that taxi fares will also go up as well because they use fuel”

He added there were ways people could cut down on their petrol consumption.

“People should carpool more, as well as plan routes and trips carefully so as not to take busy routes where they will stop and start in traffic.

“Motorists can also drive slower, which may marginally reduce their petrol consumption,” Rossouw concluded.

On Friday the Automobile Association (AA) said in a statement that although the weakened price of oil coupled with a stronger rand had kept the increase below the levels predicted in mid-June, these fuel hikes were to be expected.

“In mid-June, petrol was set for a rise of up to 30 cents a litre, and diesel as much as 63 cents, but the picture improved slightly over the past fortnight,” it said, adding that Brexit had cushioned those expected hikes.

The AA said the increase expected on Wednesday was to be more moderate, with petrol up around eight and 11 cents a litre, with diesel going up approximately 43 cents.

However, despite the moderate price hike, “on-going volatility poses a risk to further fuel price hikes. Both the basic fuel price and the daily exchange rate saw wild swings either way in June,” the AA said.

“We expect further volatility in the short to medium term as world markets continue to digest the consequences of the UK’s referendum to leave Europe,” it concluded.

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