The effect of the fluctuating crude oil prices on retail fuel prices in South Africa

Madyini, Ntandazo (2015-04)

Thesis (MDF)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study was an attempt to analyse the relationship between Brent crude oil prices, the South African rand US$ exchange rate and fuel prices in South Africa. Covering the period between 2003 and 2013, the ultimate objective was to test if there is asymmetric prices adjustment between Brent crude oil prices and the rand US$ exchange rate, on the one hand, and retail fuel prices on the other hand. As a time-series analysis, the study used the Augmented Dickey Fuller and Phillips-Perron tests for stationarity, as well as some cointegration tests. The results show that the effect of the current crude oil price and the exchange rate between the ZAR and the US$ on current fuel prices is insignificant. Instead, the current fuel prices are affected mainly by the previous month’s fuel price, the crude oil price and the exchange rate. Furthermore, the results of the threshold autoregressive model (TAR) do not prove the presence of asymmetry in the fuel price adjustment on a month-to-month basis in South Africa. The conclusion here is that the basic fuel price model is aligned to its import parity objective of symmetric adjustment in fuel prices. However, there exist some structural inefficiencies in South Africa`s fuel market, therefore policymakers should address those short-term inefficiencies in the price transmission from crude oil to fuel prices.

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