Despite surge, India face no change in crude prices from Saudi Arabia

The oil diplomacy by India has paid dividend with world’s largest oil producer Saudi Arabia deciding against raising crude supplies for March delivery to Asian consumers while raising the prices for other major consumers in the US and Europe.

Sources said that Saudis have finally acknowledged the concerns in the Asian market that hosts four of the top five consumers including China, India, Japan and Korea.

What this means is that even though crude prices may rise higher from the present levels of $60 a barrel, India along with other Asian consumers would continue to get discounts over the prevailing price.

For India, the decision by Saudi Arabia would not have come at a more opportune time. Auto fuel prices here have risen to historic high levels with petrol prices nearing unprecedented level of Rs 100 a litre in Mumbai.

The price stability would also prevent the Government from cutting excise duty on petrol and diesel at a time when Centre’s revenue is stressed due to disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.