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Retailers & petrol price increases

SAFRA says petrol stations do not make any big profits by withholding stock the night before an increase.

The price of petrol increased by 84c on Wednesday. Picture: Michelle Lubbe/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Fuel retailers will not be profiting from the price increase which kicks in on Wednesday, according to the South African Fuel Retailers Association (SAFRA).

With the announcement last week that the petrol price would increase by 84c, many drivers were up in arms.

As people became desperate to avoid paying extra for their next fill-up of fuel, long queues of vehicles were reported outside a number of petrol stations on Tuesday night.

Talk Radio 702's Bruce Whitfield on Tuesday received a number of calls from people claiming that their local fuel station had closed down for the night and speculation mounted that this was due to the owners' desire to save fuel until they could sell it at a higher price.

Whitfield then spoke to SAFRA's CEO Reggie Sibiya who explained that this was not the case.

"There's not really much profit because the order that arrives at a service station is not controlled by the retailer but rather by the oil companies."

During a price increase, he said, there will rarely be a station with overfilled tanks.

"The reality is that most of them are crying for stock."

Sibiya conceded that there may be a slight gain for the retailer by withholding petrol that was bought at a lower price from the wholesaler before an increase.

Click on the multimedia above for the discussion and Sibiya's full explanation.