The Automobile Association says while the price of unleaded 95 octane petrol is set to drop by eight cents a litre in February, other grades (including diesel) are expected to rise.

Commenting on unaudited mid-month fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund, the AA said 93 octane petrol was showing a one cent-a-litre rise, with diesel set to increase by 13 cents and illuminating paraffin by ten cents.

"International oil prices surged by nearly two dollars a gallon in late December 2019 before beginning a recovery which was halted by the recent tensions between the USA and Iran" the AA said in its monthly statement.

"In the first week of January 2020, the two dollar mark was tested again, albeit with a slight recovery since."

The AA added the rand, which dropped as low as R13,95 to the dollar at the end of December, had also begun to tick up, passing R14,40 at the close on Tuesday 14 January.

"This rise means bad news for fuel users and comes at a time when many consumers are already feeling the financial pinch," noted the AA.

The Association added political tension in the Middle East, one of the world's richest oil-producing regions, was likely to produce continued uncertainty which would feed into oil price movements.

"The rand's performance will be key in keeping any further oil hikes at bay," it concluded.