Petrol price on Sunday touched a record high of Rs 76.24 per litre and diesel climbed to its highest ever level of Rs 67.57 as the oil public sector undertakings (PSUs) passed on four weeks of relentless rise in international oil prices to consumers. Petrol price today increased by 33 paisa a litre in Delhi —the highest since the daily price revision came into force in mid-June 2017, and diesel by 26 paisa, according to price notification issued by state-owned oil firms.
Rates vary from state to state depending on the incidence of local sales tax or value-added tax (VAT). Prices in Delhi are the cheapest in all metros and most state capitals.
With this increase, petrol has touched an all-time-high, breaching the previous high of Rs 76.06 touched in Delhi on September 14, 2013. Diesel rates are also at the all-time high level.
This is the seventh straight day of price increase since oil PSUs on May 14 resumed daily price revision after a 19-day pre-Karnataka poll hiatus. In all, petrol price has been raised by Rs 1.61 a litre and diesel by 1.64 in last one week.
In India, petrol is the costliest in Mumbai where high local taxes have led a price of Rs 84.07 per litre. Petrol has breached Rs 80 mark in Bhopal (Rs 81.83 a litre), Patna (Rs 81.73), Hyderabad (Rs 80.76) and Srinagar (Rs 80.35), according to the price notification.
Petrol in Kolkatta costs Rs 78.91 per litre while it is priced at Rs 79.13 in Chennai.
On Friday, Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg refused to say if the government will cut excise duty on auto fuel to ease the burden on consumers.
The government is watching the situation developing from oil prices hitting $80 a barrel -- the highest since November 2014, and adequate steps will be taken, is all he said without elaborating.
Oil PSUs are estimated to have lost about Rs 5 billion (Rs 500 crore) on absorbing higher cost resulting from the spike in international oil rates and fall in rupee against the US dollar during the nearly three-week hiatus
Here are the top developments on petrol and diesel prices touching an all-time high in India:
1. Petrol, diesel touch all-time highs as oil companies hike rates: Petrol price on Sunday touched a record high of Rs 76.24 per litre and diesel climbed to its highest ever level of Rs 67.57 as the oil public sector undertakings (PSUs) passed on four weeks of relentless rise in international oil prices to consumers.
2. Costliest and cheapest petrol: In India, petrol is the costliest in Mumbai where high local taxes have led a price of Rs 84.07 per litre. The cheapest petrol is available in Panjim where a litre comes for Rs 70.26.
Costliest and cheapest diesel: Diesel is the costliest in Hyderabad where it is priced at Rs 73.45 a litre due to high local taxes. It is priced at Rs 73.34 in Trivandrum. Other cities where diesel rates have crossed Rs 70 mark are Raipur (Rs 72.96 a litre), Gandhinagar (Rs 72.63), Bhubaneswar (Rs 72.43), Patna (Rs 72.24), Jaipur (Rs 71.97), Ranchi (Rs 71.35), Bhopal (Rs 71.12) and Srinagar (Rs 70.96)
A litre of diesel costs Rs 71.94 in Mumbai, Rs 70.12 in Kolkatta and Rs 71.32 in Chennai, the notification said.
Diesel is the cheapest in Port Blair where it is priced at Rs 63.35.
3. Oil prices and Karnataka polls: No sooner had Karnataka polled to elect a new state government, state-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) on Monday ended a hiatus in revising petrol and diesel prices that began on April 25 and reverted to the 11-month old practices of changing rates on a daily basis.
The BJP-led government had raised excise duty nine times -- totalling Rs 11.77 per litre on petrol and Rs 13.47 on diesel -- between November 2014 and January 2016 to shore up finances as global oil prices fell, but then cut the tax just once in October last year by Rs 2 a litre.
4. Global oil prices fall, Brent notches sixth week of gains: Global oil prices fell on Friday, but Brent crude marked its sixth straight week of gains, boosted by plummeting Venezuelan production, strong global demand and looming US sanctions on Iran.
Brent crude futures fell 79 cents, or 1 per cent, to settle at $78.51 a barrel. The global benchmark on Thursday broke through $80 a barrel for the first time since November 2014, and investors anticipate more gains due to supply concerns, at least in the short term.
On Friday, traders were looking ahead to Venezuela's election on Sunday, which could then trigger additional US sanctions if President Nicolas Maduro is re-elected for a six-year term, though the opposition party has largely boycotted the race and two of his most popular opponents have been banned from running.
5. Saudi Energy Minister called Dharmendra Pradhan: OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia said on Thursday it would make sure the world is adequately supplied with oil just as major consumer India expressed frustration with rising prices.
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih called India's Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan to assure him that supporting global economic growth was "one of the kingdom's key goals", the Saudi Energy Ministry said.
Crude prices have received broad support from voluntary supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
The International Energy Agency said oil inventories in the developed world had already dipped below the five-year average, a measure targeted by OPEC and its allies.
Beyond OPEC's cuts, strong demand, falling output from Venezuela and a US announcement this month that it would renew sanctions against OPEC member Iran have helped push up Brent by 20 percent since the start of the year.
US investment bank Jefferies said sanctions against Iran could remove more than 1 million barrels per day (bpd) from the market.
Barclays said output from Venezuela could fall below 1 million bpd. The country, also an OPEC member, produced around 1.5 million bpd in April.
In Nigeria, Shell declared force majeure on Thursday on loadings of Bonny Light crude. Exports of the grade were expected to run at nearly 200,000 bpd in June. Nigeria's Forcados stream was also experiencing delays due to a pipeline leak.