By Khulile Thwala
As emaSwati are preparing to enjoy the festive season without Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, a looming fuel price increase will put an impediment on celebrations, especially for those who will be travelling.
A previous announcement by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that it will be cutting oil production by roughly two million barrels per day, is continuing to lead to potential price rises across the board. Recent reports from Energy Departments from across the globe, including South Africa (SA), suggest that the festive travelling warranted by holidays has resulted in a high demand for petrol, which is also playing a role in the petrol hikes.
SA hiked its petrol prices this week with that country’s Department of Energy stating that it would rise by 59 cents per litre while diesel is set to decrease by more than E1.50. Local fuel costs depend on global oil prices and the lilangeni /dollar exchange rate, as oil is priced in the United States (US) currency. Oil prices were reported to have plunged to their lowest levels since 2021 in November.
Business Tech says Oil came under renewed pressure as concerns grew about the outlook for the Chinese economy. While China’s daily Covid-19 cases hit new record highs, strict lockdowns are being enforced, which will hit China’s economic growth. The SA Department of Energy says global festive travelling is seeing a demand for petrol which cannot be met due to the limited supply warranted by the Russia/Ukraine war.
“Petrol prices increased due to higher demand by motorists travelling for the Thanksgiving season in the US amid limited supply emanating from the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Increased demand resulted in a decrease in gasoline inventories and higher prices,” the SA department said.
“Refiners are producing more middle distillates, such as diesel, illuminating paraffin and gas to meet extra winter demand in the Northern Hemisphere and consequently producing less petrol.”
How to improve your fuel consumption:
– Drivers are urged to concentrate on regular maintenance and servicing as it improves the efficiency of the vehicle, and therefore improves fuel consumption. They highlighted that this was particularly important for tyres, which need to be inflated to the correct and legal specifications.
– Another fuel-saving tip is to hold back on the speed, with the RAC saying excessive speed is the ‘biggest fuel-guzzling factor’. Having a light right foot and ensuring all acceleration is gentle is very important for fuel-efficient driving.
– Fuel efficiency is all about keeping moving and not losing momentum. Accelerating and fast braking are very costly in fuel consumption terms, and so is going up any steep incline.
By Khulile Thwala