The Automobile Association has warned South African motorists that fuel prices are likely to hit record highs in May.

Commenting on unaudited month-end fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund, the AA said it expected an increase of 49 cents a litre for petrol, 60 cents for diesel, and 52 cents for illuminating paraffin.

Based on these figures, a litre of 93 octane unleaded petrol (inland) – which currently costs R14,23 a litre – would cost R14,72 after the impending increase. This is 23 cents higher than the previous record of R14,49 in December 2017.

“These increases are significant and are attributable to a weakening rand against the dollar, and increasing international petroleum prices. We remain concerned about the increases, especially those to illuminating paraffin,” said the AA.

The AA furthermore noted that the depreciation of the rand over the past few days would impact on future fuel prices.

“Going into May, there is already an under-recovery of 46 cents a litre. If the rand doesn’t appreciate significantly against the dollar, and if international prices don’t decrease, this will mean another increase into June,” said the AA.

The Associated added that the predicted price increases should be seen against the backdrop of the “substantial increases” to fuel prices in April, which saw the addition of 52 cents a litre for the general fuel and Road Accident Fund levies.