The oil marketing companies hiked domestic prices of petrol and diesel for the third consecutive day on Sunday, as the firming international oil rates broke a nearly two-month-long hiatus in price revision. Petrol price was hiked by 8 paise per litre and diesel by 19 paise.
Petrol price in Delhi was hiked to Rs 81.46 per litre from Rs 81.38, according to a price notification from oil marketing companies. Diesel rates went up from Rs 70.88 to Rs 71.07 per litre. In Mumbai, the petrol price on Sunday was raised to Rs 88.16 per litre, from Rs 88.09, while diesel rates went up from Rs 77.34 to Rs 77.54.
Meanwhile, petrol now costs Rs 84.53 in Chennai and Rs 83.03 in Kolkata. Diesel costs Rs 76.55 per litre in Chennai and Rs 74.64 in Kolkata. Rates vary from state to state depending on the incidence of local sales tax or VAT.
State-owned fuel retailers started raising fuel prices from Friday. In three days, petrol price has gone up by 40 paise and diesel rates have risen by 61 paise per litre.
Petrol prices had been static since September 22, and diesel rates hadn't changed since October 2. Public sector oil marketing companies - Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd - revise rates of petrol and diesel daily based on benchmark international oil price and foreign exchange rate.
They have, however, resorted to calibrating the rates since the pandemic broke out to avoid volatility in retail prices. The 58-day hiatus in petrol price revision and 48-day status quo on diesel rates was preceded by no change in rates between June 30 and August 15, and an 85-day status quo between March 17 and June 6.
The increase in petrol and diesel prices was expected as global oil market has shown signs of firming up after positive news on successful introduction of a coronavirus vaccine soon. Moreover, the demand for oil and falling inventory levels in major consuming markets has also firmed up crude price.
The benchmark Brent crude price is hovering close to $45 a barrel for some time now while US WTI crude is also over $42 a barrel. The two have remained firm since the beginning of the month after remaining soft in most parts of October at close to $40 a barrel or less.
(Inputs from Agencies)