NEW DELHI: State-owned oil marketing companies (OMCs) on Monday increased the prices of transportation fuel for the ninth consecutive day, after pausing for nearly three months during the world’s most stringent lockdown. Petrol and diesel prices were increased by 48 paise per litre and 23 paise, respectively.
Accordingly, the petrol and diesel price in Delhi touched ₹76.26 per litre and ₹725.78 per litre, respectively.
This comes amid the country’s petroleum product demand doubling in May. Petrol and diesel prices have been increased by ₹5 per litre and ₹4.87 per litre, respectively, in the last nine days.
Retail prices of petrol and diesel in India track global prices of auto fuels, not crude, though they are broadly linked to the latter’s price trends. India’s three state-owned OMCs—Indian Oil Corp Ltd (IOCL), Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL)—had also refrained from raising prices during the national and state assembly elections.
The international benchmark, Brent crude, traded at $37.90 per barrel today and the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $35.08 per barrel at the time of going to press. Brent crude had hit a 21-year low and the US oil futures slumped to negative for the first time in April as the glut overwhelmed the world’s limited storage facilities, triggering massive selling by traders.
With the world slowly opening up for business, oil prices have stabilised after April’s downward spiral, when demand almost vanished in a world under lockdown. The cost of the Indian basket of crude, which comprises Oman, Dubai and Brent crude, averaged $56.43 and $69.88 per barrel in FY18 and FY19, respectively. It was $19.90 in April and $30.60 in May, according to data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell. The price was $40.09 a barrel on 11 June.
This comes in the backdrop of Indian economy slowing coming back to life after the world’s strictest lockdown. India’s power and overall energy demand, which had nosedived, is also slowly getting to their pre-lockdown levels, Mint reported. Energy consumption, especially electricity and refinery products, is typically linked to overall demand in an economy.
The domestic cooking gas price for June has also been raised. Effective 1 June the price of non-subsidized liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinder in Delhi has been increased by Rs11.50 for an Indane gas cylinder.