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Fuel market in South Africa


QUESTION 2 – Microeconomic theory and market construction

The Cost of Crude

Fuel Market in SA

QUESTION 3 – Theoretical Analysis

Change in measure to demanded as a consequence of dropping fuel monetary values

Change in Demand

Relationship between fuel costs and other retail goods

The impact of fuel monetary values on retail industry – Shoprite

Question 4 – Restrictions and practical considerations


QUESTION 2 – Microeconomic theory and market construction

In the long term, the greatest individual factor act uponing crude oil monetary values is the cost of rough oil.

However, market place forces of supply, demand and competition can hold a important consequence on the monetary value of rough Oil ( Yahoo Answers, 2008 ) .

However the market construction in rough oil is Oligopoly chiefly because the bulk of the market is controlled by few houses ( Parkin, 2013 ) .

Therefore based on ( Wikipedia, 2011 ) , oligopolistic competition can give rise to a broad scope of different results in some state of affairss the houses may use restrictive trade patterns ( collusion, market sharing etc.

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) to raise monetary values and restrict production in much the same manner as a monopoly. Where there is a formal understanding for such collusion, this is known as a Cartel. A primary illustration of such a trust is OPEC which has a profound influence on the international monetary value of rough oil.

The Cost of Crude

Crude oil monetary values have risen dramatically over the last few old ages, driven by strong planetary demand, limited trim oil production capacity, and go oning political instability in certain oil bring forthing parts.

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Since the monetary value of petroleum oil has the most important long-run impact on the mean monetary value of crude oil, lending to about 50 per centum of the retail monetary value, it is non surprising to see mean crude oil monetary values significantly higher every bit good ( Caltex, 2015 ) .

Other factors:

  • International demand – depends on economic mentality
  • Oil Supply – most oil bring forthing states are volatile
  • Alternative energy beginning, e.g. green fuel and gas.

The theory of supply and demand assumes that markets are absolutely competitory, where the many purchasers and Sellerss in the market and none of them have the capacity to significantly act upon monetary values of goods and services ( Parkin, 2013 ) .

Fuel Market in SA

Although the cost of petroleum oil has the most impact on mean crude oil monetary values in the long term, local market conditions, which include the forces of supply, demand, competition, and Department of Energy ordinance, can besides hold a important impact on crude oil monetary values, and explicate some of the fluctuations in crude oil monetary values across different markets. In any market state of affairs, supply and demand instabilities can impact monetary values in the short term. Supply shortages typically cause upward monetary value force per unit area, and can ensue from an unplanned refinery outage, grapevine jobs, or an unanticipated addition in demand. Conversely, length of supply, where supply exceeds demand, can ensue in downward monetary value force per unit area. Other factors impacting pricing include foreign exchange, geographic location and local competition ( Caltex, 2015 ) .

QUESTION 3 – Theoretical Analysis

Change in measure to demanded as a consequence of dropping fuel monetary values

The immediate consequence of dropping in fuel monetary values is that drivers will get down make fulling up their armored combat vehicles and get down doing longer trips, the measure demanded of fuel additions.

The measure demanded of merchandise is term used in economic sciences to depict the entire sum of goods or services that are demanded at any given point in clip. The measure demanded depends on the monetary value of a good or service in the market place, irrespective of whether that market is in equilibrium. The measure demanded is determined at any given point along a demand curve in a monetary value versus measure plane ( Parkin, 2013 ) . Quantity demanded of a merchandise has a negative relationship to monetary value, i.e. if monetary value of a merchandise decreases, the measure demanded additionscetaris paribus. The graph below shows the relationship between monetary value and measure demanded of a merchandise.

Fig 1

Beginning: Investopedia

The graph above shows that as monetary value of a certain merchandise lessenings, measure demanded additions illustrated by motion along the curve.

But fuel tend to be monetary value inelastic as most automobilists are prepared to set the same measures of fuel when going to and from work, this means so that the dropping of fuel monetary values is more likely to hold small or no impact at all on measure consumed by consumers.

Price inelastic is defined as a state of affairs in which the demand for a merchandise does non increase or diminish correspondingly with a autumn or rise in its monetary value. From the provider ‘s point of view, this is a extremely desirable state of affairs because monetary value and entire gross are straight related ; a lessening in monetary value lessenings entire gross despite an addition in the measure demanded. An illustration of a merchandise with inelastic demand is fuel. Consumers are hence more likely to salvage on fuel costs and increase disbursement on other goods which is good for retail merchants like Shoprite Holdings.

Change in Demand

As explained above, nest eggs obtained from dropping fuel monetary values is more likely to profit the demand of other goods, this will be illustrated by a displacement to the right of the Demand Curve as shown by the graph. Excess hard currency gained from fuel nest eggs will drive the demand curve to switch from D1 to D2 thereby raising the equilibrium monetary value from P1 to P2. In this instance, retail merchants will increase their profitableness non merely from reduced fuel monetary values as input cost of bringing but besides from increased monetary values.

Fig 2



Relationship between fuel costs and other retail goods

The current planetary retail industry depends extremely on fuel and transit of goods for resale. Looking at nutrient as a major constituent of the retail industry, both nutrient and oil have a systemic connexion between, and the monetary values of both nutrient and fuel have increased and decreased more or less in tandem in recent old ages ( figure 3 ) , ( Post Carbon, Bloomberg, 2011 ) .

Modern agribusiness uses oil merchandises to fuel farm machinery, to transport other inputs to the farm, and to transport farm end product to the ultimate consumer. Oil is frequently besides used as input in agricultural chemicals. Oil monetary value additions therefore put force per unit area on all these facets of commercial nutrient systems ( Post Carbon, Bloomberg, 2011 )

Fig 3

Evolution of food and fuel prices

Figure 3: Development of nutrient and fuel monetary values, 2000 to 2009 Beginnings: US Energy Information Administration and FAO. ( Post Carbon, Bloomberg, 2011 ) .

High oil monetary values contribute to surging nutrient monetary values. The modern planetary nutrient system is extremely oil-dependent, but crude oil is going less and less low-cost. Extreme conditions events besides contribute to high nutrient monetary values, and, to the extent that such events result from anthropogenetic planetary heating, they are besides finally fuel-related. Thus there is no solution for the world’s declining nutrient crisis within current energy and agricultural systems ( Post Carbon, Bloomberg, 2011 ) .

The impact of fuel monetary values on retail industry – Shoprite

Harmonizing to the article by ( Lauren Anthony, 2015 ) , fuel monetary value is one of the many factors that are used to find the monetary values of goods offered by retail merchants, other factors include electricity, exchange rates and labor costs therefore concerns can non modulate their monetary values harmonizing to when the gasoline monetary value goes up or down, ” explained Andrew Layman, main executive of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry ( Anthony, 2015 ) . Gasoline monetary values in South Africa alterations every month, hence the procedure is cyclical and opportunities are petrol monetary values would travel up once more depending on the monetary value of rough oil and the mean exchange rate for the old month therefore concern is non expected to alter monetary values whenever this happens.

With these lessening in monetary value of crude oil merchandises such as gasoline, Diesel, paraffin and LPG, the distribution and transit cost are relieved harmonizing to Tracy Van der Heijden study said that information shows that 98 % of all fast traveling consumer goods ( FMCG ) are transported via route. This is a critical issue ; South Africa’s economic system is about wholly reliant on a road-based conveyance system, which in bend is underpinned by fuel monetary values ( Van der Heijden, 2013 ) .

Merchandise is delivered to shops by a assortment of trucks and dawdlers based at distribution Centres throughout the state ; the fleet operates 24 hours a twenty-four hours, seven yearss a hebdomad that denote the cost of distribution for retail merchants such as Shoprite Holdings ( nutrient retail merchant ) with fuel monetary value down, it will intend more nest eggs from this factor, and the consequences of which will hold impact on nutrient monetary value though non instantly. Retailers are more likely to hike gross revenues by presenting specials and publicities.

As described above, the monetary value of nutrient is non likely to drop whenever fuel monetary values bead, and if fuel continues to drop, there is a clip slowdown before nutrient monetary values bead. Harmonizing to the survey done by Mamolle Masote ( Masote, 2015 ) , it was discovered that the effects of bead in fuel monetary values on nutrient retail has a clip slowdown of four months to go through the benefit down to the consumers. On the other manus Shoprite Retentions, South Africa’s largest nutrient retail merchant challenged all nutrient companies in the state to go through their fuel nest eggs onto South African consumers. Shoprite believes that bead in petrol monetary value can be passed on to the consumers, the impact on Shoprite Keeping itself is seen as benefit towards their operations and possible growing of client base, the retail merchant has lowered the monetary values most grocery points by between 15 % and 30 % when compared to the old twelvemonth ( Shoprite Holdings, 2015 ) .

Question 4 – Restrictions and practical considerations

Response to the impact of fuel is company based non all the companies will react in the same mode. Fuel is one of the many factors of production such as labor may travel up, exchange rate and political influence. Fuel in South Africa is really volatile as it can travel up or down at a really short infinite in clip and it is hard to province the impact in the long tally. It besides depends on the type of sections the shop is aiming, as Shoprite and Woolworths has two different market sections that they aspire to service, therefore their monetary values will differ harmonizing to the specific mark market. Shoprite must hold practical ethos, give back to the consumer and see the practical deductions of altering monetary values. Shoprite demand to be really careful non to make an outlooks that can non be sustainable in a long tally, as the consumer may presume that whenever gasoline lessening there will be nutrient monetary value lessening ( Shoprite Holdings, 2015 ) .

The current weakened rand will countervail the monetary value bead benefits, due to the rising prices the rand can non purchase the same goods it could earlier. As rising prices rises every rand owned buys a smaller per centum of goods and services. Subsequently the bead in petrol monetary value will non increase consumer’s buying power. Inflation occurs when the monetary values of goods and services addition over clip, Inflation can non be measured by an addition in the cost of one merchandise or service, or even several merchandises or services. Inflation is a general addition in the overall monetary value degree of the goods and services in the economic system ( Federal Reserve, 2015 ) .

Shoprite may non go through on nest eggs to consumers due to the gasoline bead if the providers do non take down the monetary values. Harmonizing to president of Grain SA, the lessening in oil monetary value came after the planting procedure had been completed intending they did non experience the relieve of oil monetary value lessening hence, their monetary values may non be lowered ( Masote, 2015 ) .

The past tendency indicates that, the monetary value bead of rough oil is short term and it will likely increase in the close hereafter. Since rough oil monetary value is vulnerable and economic experts can non truly predict the alteration, suppose petroleum oil manufacturers withhold all production or restrict the measure supplied, the state of affairs will take to greater demand of fuel and hence taking to increase in monetary values ( Parkin, 2013 ) .


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Caltex. ( 2015, February 21 ) .Caltex. Retrieved from Chevron Corporation: hypertext transfer protocol: //

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Parkin, M. ( 2013 ) .Global and Southern African Positions: Economicss( 2nd ed. ) . Cape Town: Pearson Education South Africa ( Pty ) Ltd.

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Fuel market in South Africa. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from

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