The Automobile Association says the price of petrol in South Africa is expected to increase at the start of December, while the cost of diesel is likely to fall.

Commenting on the unaudited mid-month fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund, the AA said October's mixed fuel price picture had continued into November.

The Association said the “underlying fundamentals have been treading water in the first half of November”, giving rise to a predicted increase of 11 cents a litre for 95 octane petrol, and a seven-cent rise for 93 octane petrol. Diesel is looking at a decrease, with current data showing an 18-cent decrease while illuminating paraffin is set to drop by 21 cents.

"The average rand/dollar exchange rate has been essentially flat, contributing a small decrease of about 3,5 cents to fuel prices as it maintains a level around R14,90 to the dollar. The picture for oil is similar, with the international prices of both petrol and diesel having run neck-and-neck for several days last week," the Association said in its monthly statement.

The AA added the economy had “taken a breather with Moody's choosing to give South Africa the benefit of the doubt with a change of outlook, rather than a downgrade”.

“Petrol price increases at this time of year will come as bad news for many people who will be travelling on holiday in December. However, the predicted drop in the diesel price means input costs in for instance the manufacturing and agricultural sectors remains relatively untouched in relation to fuel costs, which is good news,” the AA concluded.