The price of petrol in Delhi rose by 25 paise on Tuesday reaching an all-time high of ₹85.20 per litre while diesel price jumped to ₹75.38, according to Indian Oil Corporation. The rates have been hiked for the second consecutive day after remaining unchanged for three days.
Fuel prices witnessed a spike in other metro cities as well. In Mumbai, diesel price crossed ₹82-mark while petrol is selling for as high as ₹91.80 per litre. In Kolkata, diesel is priced at ₹Rs78.97 and petrol at ₹90.16 per litre.
State-owned fuel retailers – Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) – had on January 6 resumed daily price revisions after nearly a month-long hiatus.
This came after international oil prices firmed up on hopes of demand returning from rollout of coronavirus vaccines in different countries, including India.
Commenting on the rising prices, Union minister for petroleum and natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday said that lower production had caused an imbalance in demand and supply. “Our main challenge is, we have to import 80% of crude oil of our requirement. Due to coronavirus, many oil-producing countries stopped production or reduced it. There is a pressure on fuel price due to imbalance in demand and supply,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
“Consumption has been increasing. India is third as far as energy consumption is concerned,” he added.
Though petrol and diesel rates are to be revised on a daily basis in line with benchmark international price and foreign exchange rates, government-controlled fuel retailers have been moderating rates since the pandemic broke out.
Meanwhile, Brent crude futures also edged up as optimism that government stimulus will buoy global economic growth and oil demand trumped concerns that renewed Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns globally could cool fuel consumption.
Brent crude futures for March rose 17 cents, or 0.3%, to $54.92 a barrel by 0150 GMT after slipping 35 cents in the previous session, according to news agency Reuters. US West Texas Intermediate crude was at $52.25 a barrel, down 11 cents, or 0.2%.