The Automobile Association says South African motorists can expect the price of petrol to rise at the start of August, with diesel likely to fall (although cautions that the figures are "merely indicative").

Commenting on unaudited monthly fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund, the AA said while the rand had won ground against the dollar in July, international oil prices had increased, offsetting these gains.

"The rand has progressively appreciated against the US dollar since 1 July, dipping below the R14 to the dollar mark," the AA said in a statement.

"However, international oil prices, which pulled back further in the first week of July, have raced upwards again on concerns over international inventories and ongoing political instability in the Middle East."

The AA added the increase in the refined cost of fuel was higher for petrol than for diesel, setting up the “unusual situation” where diesel users are set for a price reduction while petrol seems likely to increase.

The current data shows a seven cents-a-litre increase for petrol and a 20 cent decrease for diesel (with illuminating paraffin down by 14 cents).

"There has been considerable volatility in both the exchange rate and the rand over the past month," the AA says.

"The mid-month fuel picture is usually a good indicator of what is likely to happen at month end, but the current political and economic drivers of both the exchange rate and [the] oil price are highly fluid," the Association explained.

"We regard the current figures as merely indicative at this stage, and pragmatism suggests the picture at month end might be substantially different from current outlook," the AA warned.