Petrol and diesel prices maintained its northward rally on Saturday amid firm global prices with the benchmark Brent crude gaining over 2 per cent on a single day to cross $62 a barrel mark. Accordingly, oil marketing companies raised the pump price of diesel by year high level of 36 paise per litre and petrol by another 30 paise per litre in Delhi.
With this increase, the fifth consecutive this week, petrol is now priced at Rs 88.44 a litre and diesel Rs 78.74 a litre in the national capital.
Across the country as well the petrol prices increase ranged from 25-30 paise per litre and diesel price 30-40 paise per litre. depending on the level of local taxes on the two petroleum products.
In Mumbai, petrol prices is just Rs 5 per litre short of touching three digit mark of Rs 100 per litre for the very first ever anywhere in the country. Diesel prices in the city is closing on on Rs 90 a litre. In all other metros, petrol is either a over Rs 90 a litre mark or just a shade below that level while diesel is over Rs 80 a litre barring Delhi.
The increase on Saturday has followed the firming global crude oil prices that have maintained record streak of gains in past few days reaching over $62 a barrel mark. But experts said that fresh lockdown in various parts of the globe on new coronavirus strain may impact fend and push down prices soon.
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 a long time earlier, OMCs had gone in for both a pause in price of auto fuels as well increase in its retail prices on consecutive days.
Crude price have remained firm for last few weeks in 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 17 times in 2021 with the two auto fuels increasing by Rs 4.73 and Rs 4.87 per litre respectively, so far this year.
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. Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan has ruled out any cut in duty on petro products.
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 loss on sale of auto fuels.