Petrol prices continued its upward march again on Wednesday, a day after a brief pause, taking its price to cross century mark in Delhi and Kolkata, the only two metro cities where the fuel price was still catching up with other cities across the country.
In Delhi, price of petrol increased by 35 paise from Rs 99.86 on Tuesday to Rs 100.21 a litre on Wednesday. In Kolkata, petrol price moved up from Rs 99.84 a litre to Rs 100.23 per litre.
In other two metros – Chennai and Mumbai – Petrol prices have already crossed the century mark some time back. In fact in Mumbai, it crossed Rs 100 a litre mark on May 29. Petrol is now priced at Rs 106.25 a litre in Mumbai.
With Wednesday’s increase, petrol price is now over Rs 100 a litre almost all across the country. Diesel is also catching up and may soon be available over Rs 100 a litre across the country soon.
Diesel prices increased a tad lower on Wednesday. It increased by 17 paise per litre in Delhi to Rs 89.53 a litre. In the financial capital Mumbai, diesel costs Rs 97.09 a litre, data available on Indian Oil Corporation’s website showed.
Officials in oil companies attribute 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.
The only way retail prices could be brought down in this period is by way of tax cuts by both Centre and States, suggests experts as crude oil prices are seen rising from here on.
Fuel prices are already touching new highs every other day.
Starting from a price line of Rs 90.40 a litre on May 1, petrol is now priced at Rs 100.21 a litre in the national capital, rising by a sharp Rs 9.81 per litre in last 68 days. Similarly, diesel price in the capital also rose by Rs 8.80 per litre in past two months to reach Rs 89.53 a litre in the national capital.
With the price rise, fuel rates have been revised upwards in 36 out of 67 days between May, June and July.
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.