Major petroleum product sales in South Africa grew by 6,4% in the third quarter of 1996 compared to the equivalent quarter in 1995, the South African Petroleum Industry Association announced today. This is the third consecutive quarter of this year in which growth over the corresponding quarter of 1995 has exceeded 6%. This is in spite of significant increases in prices due to higher world oil prices and the weaker Rand.
The major product, petrol, which comprises over 50% of South African demand, however grew by only 2,8% in the third quarter as compared to 4% for the second quarter. This does reflect the impact of the significant price increases which have occurred during the year.
Substantially improved growth in combined diesel, jet fuel, paraffin and fuel oil sales helped to boost the total increase in demand for major petroleum products to 6,4%, notwithstanding the higher prices following the weakening of the Rand and the higher world oil prices. It is hoped that these growth figures, when compared to reported GDP growth of some 3%, reflect underlying strength in the South African economy. Diesel is in particular a fuel mainly used in industrial activity.
For the first nine months demand is up 6,2% over the corresponding period in 1995.
The penetration of unleaded petrol as a percentage of total petrol sales was 9,2% in September.
In response to requests for historical data, the Association makes available the quarterly figures for 1994 to 1998.