After a brief period of lull, state-run oil marketing companies on Friday hiked domestic prices of petrol and diesel marginally in the four metros. The prices of petrol in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai were increased by 17-20 paise per litre, and those of diesel by 22-25 paise per litre, according to notifications from Indian Oil Corporation, the country’s largest fuel retailer.
In Delhi, the price of petrol was hiked to Rs 81.23 per litre from Rs 81.06 per litre, while that of diesel was raised to Rs 70.68 per litre from Rs 70.46 per litre.
In Mumbai, petrol and diesel rates were revised to Rs 87.92 per litre and Rs 77.11 per litre from Rs 87.74 and Rs 76.86 per litre respectively the previous day.
In Chennai, petrol and diesel are retailing at Rs 84.31 and Rs 76.17 per litre, while in Kolkata, the fuels are being sold at Rs 82.79 and Rs 74.24.
While India has brought both petrol and diesel out from an earlier administrative price regime and their retail prices are revised daily based on global movement product prices, holding the retail price revision for almost two months was surprising. At a time when globally prices change by the hour, in India it could be kept static for such a long period.
Every dollar increase in the price of crude results in a retail price rise of 40 paisa per litre. This would mean that the fuel prices should be up by at least Rs 1.20 per litre by now.
The increase in petrol and diesel prices was expected as the global oil market had shown signs of firming up after positive news on the successful introduction of a coronavirus vaccine soon. Moreover, the demand for oil and falling inventory levels in major consuming markets has also firmed up crude prices.