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Fuel Prices in S. Africa Rise Yet Again

Wednesday July 5, 12:43 pm ET
By Alexandra Zavis, Associated Press Writer

Fuel Prices in S. Africa Jump for 5th Time This Year Due to Weakening Currency, High Oil Prices

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) -- South African fuel prices increased Wednesday for the fifth time this year, due to high international crude prices and a weakening currency.

The 25-cent (3-US-cent; 2-euro-cent) increase in the gasoline price and 32-cent (4-US-cent; 3-euro-cent) increase in the cost of diesel produced much grumbling at the pump.

Hardest hit, however, were the impoverished millions who rely on kerosene -- up 36 cents (5 US cents; 4 euro cents) -- to cook and warm their homes in what is now the middle of the southern hemisphere winter.


Gasoline and diesel prices have increased 23 percent over the past year to 6.73 rands (96 US cents; 77 euro cents) and 6.32 rands (90 US cents; 72 euro cents) per liter, respectively. Kerosene has increased 28 percent over the same period to 4.88 rands (69 US cents; 55 euro cents).

The high fuel prices have raised concern about inflation, currently averaging about 4 percent. And more increases are likely if the rand continues its downward slide against the U.S. dollar, the South African Petroleum Industry Association has said.

The price surge has had little effect on gasoline consumption. But analysts at the Johannesburg-based consultancy Econometrix calculate every cent increase absorbs 9 million rands (US$1.3 million; euro1 million) per month that could have been spent elsewhere in the economy.
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