Indian basket of crude oils goes over $55 a barrel

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New Delhi, Feb 3 (IANS) State-run oil marketers failed to make the fortnightly revision in transport fuel prices due earlier this week while the Indian basket of crude oils closed trade on the last trading day on Thursday at over $55 a barrel, official data showed on Friday.

With global oil prices firming up following the output cut by producers from last month, the Indian basket, comprising 73 per cent sour-grade Dubai and Oman crudes, and the balance in sweet-grade Brent, closed trade on February 2 at $55.49 for a barrel of 159 litres.

On Friday, while Brent crude was trading at $56.94 a barrel, the US West Texas Intermediate was trading at $53.95.

Indian oil marketing firms revise prices fortnightly and rates were previously hiked on January 16, of petrol by 42 paise a litre, and of diesel by Rs 1.03, both in Delhi and with corresponding increases in other states.

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Petrol per litre costs Rs 71.14 in Delhi, Rs 73.66 in Kolkata, Rs 77.96 in Mumbai and Rs 70.61 in Chennai.

Similarly, the current diesel price is Rs 59.02 in Delhi, Rs 61.27 in Kolkata, Rs 64.89 in Mumbai and Rs 60.73 in Chennai.

Rates were previously hiked on January 1, petrol by Rs 1.29 a litre, and diesel by Rs 97 paise, both in Delhi.

Following the late November agreement between major oil producers to cut output as a response to the global supply glut that had been pushing down prices for nearly two years, India has hiked petrol prices thrice and diesel prices twice in December.

In early December, oil producers outside the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), led by Russia, agreed to reduce output by 558,000 barrels per day (bpd). This came in the wake of the 13-nation OPEC cartel’s November 30 decision to cut output by 1.2 million bpd for six months effective from January 1.

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This is the first time since 2001 that OPEC and some of its rivals had reached a deal to jointly reduce output to tackle the global oil glut.

Oil prices had earlier fallen by more than 50 per cent in less than two years, from levels of over $120 a barrel.

According to the latest OPEC data, its reference basket of 13 crude oils closed at $53.92 a barrel on Thursday.

Rising oil prices present a challenge to India’s growth, the Economic Survey presented in Parliament on Tuesday said.

“Price of crude oil (Indian basket) has increased from $39.9 in April 2016 to $52.7 in December 2016,” the Survey said.

“Some possible challenges to growth exist. For example, the prices of crude oil have started rising and are projected to increase further in the next year. Estimates suggest that oil prices could rise by as much as one-sixth over the 2016-17 level, which could have some dampening impact on the growth.

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“For the next financial year, the recent uptick in global commodity prices, in particular crude oil prices, pose an upside risk,” it added.

–IANS

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