Petrol, diesel price rise checked for 3rd consecutive day

Petrol and diesel price rise continued on the pause mode on Monday, the third consecutive day of no price change, as oil marketing companies decided to watch the revolving oil market before taking a call on further changes.

Before the pause, petrol and diesel prices had risen sharply on Thursday and Friday, taking up the pump price of the auto fuels by 65 paise per litre.

The pause came on a day when global crude prices rose by over 1.3 per cent to reach this year’s high level of over $60 a barrel.

Petrol, diesel and other oil product prices in India are determined on the basis of petroleum product price in the global markets and not crude price. But movement in benchmark crude has a bearing on pricing across the product categories.

With price on the pause on Monday, retail price of diesel remained at Rs 77.13 a litre in Delhi while petrol prices remained at new high level of Rs 86.95 a litre in the capital.

Across the country as well the fuel prices remained at Friday’s level.

Though firm global crude and product price is the reason for the increase in retail price of petrol and diesel in past days, it is interesting to note that even though crude has been hovering just over $55 a barrel for a long time, OMCs had gone in for both a pause in price of auto fuels as well increase in its retail prices on the 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 12 times in 2021 with the two auto fuels increasing by Rs 3.24 and Rs 3.26 per litre respectively so far this year.

The last few increases in the 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 the sale of auto fuels.