Fuel price hike looms

Lesotho Times - - Business - Retha­bile Pitso

FUEL prices in Le­sotho are likely to in­crease this week fol­low­ing South Africa’s an­nounce­ment to hike fuel prices fol­low­ing in­crease in crude oil prices.

South Africa in­creased petrol by 96 cents a litre, diesel by 74 cents a litre and paraf­fin by 98 cents yes­ter­day fol­low­ing an an­nounce­ment by the South African Depart­ment of En­ergy and Min­eral Re­sources last week.

“The pump price of both grades of petrol and the whole­sale prices of diesel, il­lu­mi­nat­ing paraf­fin and the max­i­mum re­tail prices of both Il­lu­mi­nat­ing paraf­fin and LPG will in­crease with ef­fect from the 4th of March 2015,” the depart­ment said.

“The main rea­son for the fuel price in­creases is the av­er­age in­crease in the price of crude oil, by about 20 per­cent, dur­ing the pe­riod un­der re­view com­pared to the pre­vi­ous pe­riod. The other rea­son is the de­pre­ci­a­tion of the rand against the US dollar.”

The depart­ment also said it be­lieves that the price of crude oil will sta­bilise around the cur­rent level and as such no ma­jor price shocks are ex­pected in the fu­ture.

The last time petrol in­creased was in April last year by 7 cents a litre and be­fore that in March when it in­creased by 36 cents a litre.

The in­crease could have a knock-on ef­fect on Le­sotho the coun­try re­lies on South Africa for its re­fined petroleum prod­uct sup­ply.

The Le­sotho Petroleum Fund is, how­ever, ex­pected to re­lease an of­fi­cial state­ment this week fol­low­ing a board meet­ing to­day.

Last month, mo­torists en­joyed a re­prieve as the price of all grades of petrol dropped by 93c a litre, by R1.02 a litre, il­lu­mi­na­tion paraf­fin by R1.36 a litre.

The price in­crease is likely to hit hard con­sumers amid fears it will trig­ger a fresh round of in­creases in the prices of ba­sic com­modi­ties.

The Le­sotho Petroleum Fund is ex­pected to shed more light on the im­mi­nent fuel price surge this week.

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