Petrol and diesel prices in the country rose again sharply by 25 paise and 30 paise per litre respectively on Thursday as Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) continued to cover for their losses on holding back price rise for the past 18 days due to state elections.

This is third increase in fuel prices in as many days as petrol and diesel prices rose by 15 paise and 18 paise per litre respectively on Tuesday and by 19 paise and 21 paise per litre respectively on Wednesday after 18 days break.

With Thursday’s increase, petrol is now being retailed at Rs 90.99 a litre and diesel Rs 81.42 a litre in the national capital.

Across the country as well the petrol and diesel prices increased on Thursday but its quantum varied depending on the level of local levies in respective states.

Petrol prices in some states have breached the Rs 100 per litre mark while premium petrol has been hovering above that level for quite some time now.

OMCs benchmark retail fuel prices to a 15-day rolling average of global refined products’ prices and dollar exchange rate. In the last fortnight global oil prices have hovered in $66-67 a barrel range higher than the levels when petrol and diesel prices were last revised. Crude prices have jumped over $69 a barrel on Wednesday.

The price of the two auto fuels had fallen by 16 paise and 14 paise per litre respectively on April 15 after a 15 day break when OMCs kept its prices static. Thereafter revision of fuel prices has been halted.

The OMCs went on price cut for the first time this year on two consecutive days – March 24 and 25 after keeping oil prices steady for past 24 days. It again reduced the price on March 30. Thereafter, fuel prices have remained unchanged for past 15 days before falling again on April 15. In all petrol prices have fallen by 77 paise per litre while diesel by 74 paise per litre in 2021 so far.

Earlier, petrol and diesel prices increased 26 times in 2021 with the two auto fuels increasing by Rs 7.46 and Rs 7.60 per litre respectively so far this year.

(With IANS inputs)