The Automobile Association says the price of petrol in South Africa is expected to price in January 2020, while a “fractional increase” is on the cards for diesel.

According to the AA, the current picture for January is pointing to a decrease in petrol of up to 17 cents a litre, with diesel up by a cent, and illuminating paraffin lower by four cents.

"The rand has held steady during the first half of December, even appreciating slightly against the US dollar. This has contributed approximately nine cents in price relief. Meanwhile, the landed price of fuels has been mixed, with petrol down slightly, while diesel is up," the AA said, commenting on unaudited mid-month fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund.

The Association added the rand was on an “impressive run of stability” that dates back to the start of November, with the trend very slightly stronger against the dollar. In addition, basic fuel prices had also kept within a “fairly narrow band” which has insulated the motorist against the kind of steep price swings seen earlier in the year.

“Although there has been a slight upward oil price trend that has manifested over the past few days, it is too early to tell whether this will persist. Barring any unforeseen surprises, we expect 2020 will kick off with only modest fuel price changes," the AA concluded.