Oil marketing companies on Friday continued with their wait and watch strategy and kept the retail price of petrol and diesel unchanged for the third consecutive day.
Accordingly, petrol continues to be sold at Rs 90.93 a litre and diesel at Rs 81.32 a litre in the national capital.
Elsewhere in the country as well, fuel prices remained unchanged after oil companies increased the pump price on 13 of the last 18 days.
In the 13 increases since February 9, prices have gone up by Rs 3.98 per litre for petrol while diesel rate has risen by Rs 4.19 a litre in Delhi.
The price pause on Friday may be momentary as global oil prices are on the boil with benchmark Brent crude prices remaining above $ 66 a barrel. The product prices in the international market have also firmed up over restricted supplies and a demand pick up.
The increase of fuel prices in the previous weeks has taken petrol to cross historic high levels of Rs 100 a litre in several cities across the country.
In Mumbai, petrol price is just Rs 3 per litre short (Rs 97.34 a litre) of touching three digit mark of Rs 100 per litre for the very first time ever. Diesel price in the city is closing on Rs 90 a litre (Rs 88.44 a litre).
In all other metros, petrol is over Rs 90 a litre-mark while diesel is well over Rs 80 a litre. Premium petrol has crossed Rs 100 per litre-mark in several cities of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra a few days back.
Since fuel prices are benchmarked to a 15-day rolling average of global refined products’ prices and dollar exchange rate, pump prices can be expected to remain northbound over the next few days even if crude price stabilises.
The petrol and diesel prices have increased 25 times in 2021 with the two auto fuels increasing by Rs 7.22 and Rs 7.45 per litre respectively so far this year.
Oil companies executives said that petrol and diesel prices may increase further in coming days as retail prices may have to be balanced in line with global developments to prevent OMCs from making losses on sale of auto fuels.