The news came out today that the price of fuel in South Africa is going up by 34c per litre again beginning of next month, pushing the price over the R8 per litre mark again.

While I could complain for hours about the high fuel prices, there is another something else that I never quite fully worked out. Why does the media in South Africa follow the price of Brent Crude oil.

Whenever the world oil price is quoted on TV, or in the newspapers, or on the radio, the ONLY price that ever gets quoted is Brent crude.

The problem with this is that South Africa does not import much Brent Crude oil. Most of our imports come from the Middle East, with much of the rest coming from Africa. I was reading a report that we may soon be getting large amounts of oil from Angola. And most of this oil sells for a different price than Brent Crude.

Sure, the differences in the prices between regions would not be vastly different, but why aren’t those prices ever quoted? What makes the price of Brent Crude so special?

I think it would be a very justifiable proposition that the price we see in the media for oil, should be the average which we as South Africans are paying for oil, or perhaps a split of the prices which are relevant to us. It would certainly make trying to estimate the next petrol price increase easier.