Petrol, diesel price remains on pause even as crude rises

Petrol and diesel prices remained unchanged on Wednesday as oil marketing companies continued on their pause mode for the seventh consecutive day.

The halt in price rise comes even as the global oil price surge continues with crude rising again on Wednesday reaching closer to a new high of $ 58 a barrel this year.

With price on hold on Wednesday, petrol continued to be available at a new record high of Rs 86.30 a litre in Delhi while diesel is available in the city at Rs 76.48 a litre. This is the seventh consecutive day when fuel prices have remained static.

Across the country as well the fuel prices remained unchanged. In Mumbai, petrol price was priced at Rs 92.86 a litre while in Chennai it was selling at Rs 88.82 a litre and in Kolkata Rs 87.69 a litre. Diesel on the other hand is at Rs 83.30 a litre in Mumbai, Rs 81.71 a litre in Chennai and Rs 80.08 a litre in Kolkata.

Though firm global crude and product price is the reason for the increase in retail price of petrol and diesel, it is interesting to note that even though crude has been hovering just over $55 a barrel for some time now, OMCs have gone in for both a pause in price of auto fuels as well increase in its retail prices on consecutive days.

Crude prices have remained firm for the last few weeks in the wake of unilateral production cuts announced by Saudi Arabia and a pick up in consumption in all major economies globally.

The petrol and diesel prices have increased 10 times in January with the two auto fuels increasing by Rs 2.59 and Rs 2.61 per litre respectively this month.

The last few increases in pump prices in petrol and diesel has taken its price to record levels across the country in all major metro cities and other towns. The last time the retail price of auto fuels were closer to current levels was on October 4, 2018 when crude prices had shot up up $ 80 a barrel.

The current price rise is largely on account of steep increase in central taxes of petrol and diesel and firm crude prices. The budget has also imposed a new agriculture infrastructure and development cess.

Petrol price was very close to breaching the all-time high level of Rs 84 a litre (reached on October 4, 2018) when it touched Rs 83.71 a litre on December 7, 2020. But the march had been halted ever since then with no price revision by the OMCs in the month. The price rise started again only on January 6.

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.

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