Home Business Petrol & diesel prices rises for 2nd straight day

Petrol & diesel prices rises for 2nd straight day

Oil marketing companies (OMCs) on Saturday raised the retail price of petrol and diesel for the second consecutive day after a break of almost two months.

The price of petrol has increased by 15 paise per liter in the national capital to Rs 81.38 from Rs 81.23 a liter on Friday. Similarly, the retail price of diesel has been increased by 20 paise per liter to Rs 70.88 per liter in Delhi.

With the price revision, the retail price of both the auto fuels has also been increased across the country but the level of increase is different across the cities due to the variable taxation structure pursued by the states.

The increase in petrol and diesel prices was expected as the global oil market has shown signs of firming up after positive news on the successful introduction of a coronavirus vaccine soon. Moreover, the demand for oil and falling inventory levels in major consuming markets has also firmed up the crude price.

The benchmark Brent crude price is hovering close to $45 a barrel for some time now while US WTI crude is also over $42 a barrel. The two have remained firm since the beginning of the month after remaining soft in most parts of October at close to $40 a barrel or less.

OMC sources said that auto fuel hikes on Friday and Saturday may not end just yet and the price of the two petroleum products may increase gradually over the next week as well. This is required to keep OMCs from incurring losses on the sale of petrol and diesel.

While India has brought both petrol and diesel out from an earlier administrative price regime and their retail prices are revised daily based on global movement product prices, holding the retail price revision for almost two months was surprising. At a time when global prices change by the hour, in India it could be kept static for such a long period.

Every dollar increase in the price of crude results in the retail price of petrol and diesel to be increased by up to 40 paise per liter. This would mean that the fuel prices should be up by at least Rs 1.20 per liter by now. However, oil companies have kept fuel prices static even when there was a need to revise it downwards last month. That saving prevented OMCs from increasing petrol and diesel prices by a higher margin. Now that the option is exhausted, regular price revision could restart.

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