Petrol, diesel prices show steep rise despite softening of global oil

New Delhi: Prices of auto fuels petrol and diesel rose sharply on Thursday even though global oil showed signs of softening with benchmark Brent crude falling to just over $80 a barrel from previous days high of over $82 a barrel.

Diesel prices increased by 35 paisa in the national capital to Rs 91.77 per litre on Thursday while petrol prices increased by 30 paisa to Rs 103.24 a litre, according to the Indian Oil Corporation, the country’s largest fuel retailer.

Diesel prices have now increased on 11 out of the last 14 days taking up its retail price by Rs 3.15 per litre in Delhi. The prices increased between 20-30 paisa per litre so far but on Wednesday, they breached this mark with a 35 paisa per litre increase, which was also seen on Thursday.

With diesel price rising sharply, the fuel is now available at over Rs 100 a litre in several parts of Madhya Pradesh. This dubious distinction was earlier available to petrol that had breached Rs 100 a litre mark across the country a few months earlier. The surge has also taken the diesel prices closer to Rs 100 a litre in Mumbai.

Petrol prices had maintained stability since September 5 but oil companies finally raised its pump prices last week and this week, given a spurt in product prices lately.

Petrol prices have also risen on eight of the previous 10 days taking up its pump price by Rs 2.05 per litre.

OMCs had preferred to maintain their watch prices on global oil situation before making any revision in prices. This is the reason why petrol prices were not revised for last three weeks. But extreme volatility in global oil price movement has now pushed them to effect the increase.

In Mumbai, the petrol price increased by 29 paisa to reach Rs 109.25 per litre while diesel rates increased by 38 paisa to Rs 99.55 a litre.

Across the country as well, petrol and diesel increased between 30-40 paisa per litre but their retail rates varied depending on the level of local taxes in the state.

Fuel prices in the country have been hovering at record levels on account of 41 increases in its retail rates since April this year. It fell on few occasions but largely remained constant.

After rising over three year high level of over $82 a barrel, the global benchmark had now come down to about $80 a barrel. Since September 5, when both petrol and diesel prices were revised, the price of petrol and diesel in the international market is higher by around $8-9 per barrel as compared to average prices during August.

Under the pricing formula adopted by oil companies, rates of petrol and diesel are to be reviewed and revised by them on a daily basis. The new prices becomes effective from morning at 6 a.m.

The daily review and revision of prices is based on the average price of benchmark fuel in the international market in the preceding 15 days, and foreign exchange rates.

But, the fluctuations in global oil prices have prevented OMCs to follow this formula in totality and revisions are now being made with longer gaps. This has also prevented companies from increasing fuel prices whenever their is a mismatch between globally arrived and pump price of fuel.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Sambad English staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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