Petrol and diesel prices have risen again sharply on the back of a surge in global crude prices that has taken it above $ 61 a barrel mark.
The oil marketing companies on Thursday decided to continue raising the price of petrol and diesel with the pump price increasing by 25 paise and 30 paise per litre respectively in Delhi.
With this, petrol is now priced at Rs 87.85 a litre and diesel Rs 78.03 a litre in the national capital. With the price rise the petroleum product prices have now reached new historic high levels.
Across the country as well, the petrol price increase ranged from 22-24 paise per litre and diesel price 28-31 paise per litre depending on the level of local taxes on the two petroleum products.
The increase has taken petrol price in Mumbai closer to Rs 100 a litre with its retail price now reaching Rs 94.36 a litre. Diesel is also most expensive in Mumbai at Rs 84.94 a litre.
Though firm global crude and product price is the reason for the increase in retail price of petrol and diesel, it is interesting to note that even though crude has been hovering just over $55 a barrel for a long time earlier, OMCs had gone in for both a pause in price of auto fuels as well increase in its retail prices on the consecutive days.
Crude prices have remained firm for the last few weeks in the wake of unilateral production cuts announced by Saudi Arabia and a pick up in consumption in all major economies globally.
The petrol and diesel prices have increased 15 times in 2021 with the two auto fuels increasing by Rs 4.14 and Rs 4.16 per litre respectively so far this year.
The last few increases in pump prices in petrol and diesel has taken its price to record levels across the country in all major metro cities and other towns. The last time the retail price of auto fuels were closer to current levels was on October 4, 2018 when crude prices had shot up up $ 80 a barrel.
The current price rise is largely on account of steep increase in the central taxes of petrol and diesel and firm crude prices. The Budget has also imposed a new agriculture infrastructure and development cess.
Petrol price was very close to breaching the all-time high level of Rs 84 a litre (reached on October 4, 2018) when it touched Rs 83.71 a litre on December 7, 2020. But the march had been halted ever since then with no price revision by the OMCs in the month. The price rise started again only on January 6.
Oil companies executives said that petrol and diesel prices may increase further in the coming days as retail prices may have to be balanced in line with global developments to prevent OMCs from making losses on sale of auto fuels.