The Automobile Association says the latest data suggests South African motorists should expect the price of petrol to rise in February, while the price of diesel falls.

"International oil prices have reached a slightly higher plateau after climbing in the first half of January," the AA said, commenting on unaudited month-end fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund.

"Over the same period, the rand has firmed gradually against the US dollar. It began the month at nearly R14,50 to the dollar and is currently hovering around R14,00, offsetting the oil price rise to some degree."

According to the Association, the current data suggests petrol will increase by around eight cents a litre, while diesel is set to drop by three cents and illuminating paraffin by nine cents. The difference in the price changes, says the AA, relates mainly to the differences in the international product prices of diesel and petrol.

"What is worth noting is that the average rand strength against the US dollar has been increasing for nearly a month, and we are hopeful this may point to a period of greater stability for the currency," the AA added.

"If international oil prices continue their current stable trend, South African fuel users may see fewer of the wild swings in fuel prices which characterised 2018," it concluded.