Fuel price rise paused, retail rates unchanged on Saturday

The oil marketing companies kept the retail price of petrol and diesel unchanged on Saturday to analyse the global oil price movement before making further revisions.

Accordingly, petrol continues to be priced at Rs 99.16 a litre and diesel 89.18 a litre in the national capital on Saturday.

Across the country as well the fuel prices remained unchanged on Saturday. Fuel prices were last revised upwards on Friday.

The price rise pause has come not before the fuel rates have reached new highs across the country through numerous increases in last two months.

Starting from a price line of Rs 90.40 a litre on May 1, petrol is now priced at Rs 99.16 a litre in the national capital, rising by a sharp Rs 8.76 per litre in last 60 days. Similarly, diesel price in the capital also rose by Rs 8.45 per litre in past two months to reach Rs 89.18 a litre in the capital city.

Though, oil companies gave respite to consumers on Saturday, keeping fuel prices unchanged, the price pause has come after rates have been revised upwards in 32 out of 61 days between May and June to take retail rates touch new highs across the country.

Officials in oil companies put the consistent increase in fuel prices to development in global oil markets where both product and crude price have been firming up for past couple of months on demand rise amidst slowing of pandemic. However, closer look at fuel retail prices in India gives a picture that it is high level of taxes that is keeping fuel rate higher even in times when global oil prices are firm.

Global crude oil price is now hovering around $75 a barrel. It was over $80 a barrel in October 2018 but even then the petrol prices hovered around Rs 80 a litre across the county. So, even with lower oil prices now, petrol prices have hit century and crossed it by a wider margin now in several parts of the country.

Officials said that fuel prices might again rise in coming days and only way retail prices could be brought down in this period is by way of tax cuts by both Centre and States.

Fuel prices are already touching new highs everyday. Petrol is most expensive in Rajasthan’s Sri Ganganagar where it is now retailing at Rs 110.40 Even diesel in the city is priced at a high of Rs 102.42 a litre.

In the city of Mumbai, where petrol prices crossed Rs 100 mark for the first time on May 29, the fuel prices reached new high of Rs 105.24 per litre on Friday. It remained at the same level on Saturday. Diesel prices also increased in the city to reach Rs 96.72 a litre, the highest among metros.

With global crude prices also rising on a pick up demand and depleting inventories of world’s largest fuel guzzler – the US, retail prices of fuel in India are expected to firm up further in coming days. The benchmark Brent crude reached multi year high level of over $75 on ICE or Intercontinental Exchange.