Fuel prices continue northward march, climb to new highs

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Domestic fuel prices continued their northward push on Tuesday with a depreciating rupee and expensive crude oil further pushing petrol and diesel to new record highs as per daily rates under the dynamic pricing regime.

Petrol in Delhi rose to Rs 80.87 per liter, while it increased in Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai to Rs 83.75, Rs 84.05 and Rs 88.26 respectively, according to the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC).

Elsewhere, petrol prices on Tuesday breached the psychological barrier of Rs 90 and touched a scorching Rs 90.11 in Maharashtra’s Parbhani – a new record in India.

Similarly, diesel prices rose in Delhi and Kolkata to Rs 72.97 and Rs 75.82 per liter respectively, while it climbed to Rs 77.13 and Rs 77.47 per liter in Chennai and Mumbai respectively.

Fuel prices in the country have been going up almost daily since August 1. They fell only once on August 13 in the last 41 days. Prices have surged on 30 days and remained unchanged on 11 days, and have been breaching record levels for more than a week now.

Sector experts say a weak rupee and high excise duty are major factors for the rise in fuel prices.

Inflationary risks along with broadly negative global cues depressed the Indian rupee to a new low of 72.74 on Tuesday.

Also, high global crude oil cost has become a major concern for the country which is a net importer of oil. The UK Brent crude oil price hovers around $77 per barrel.

Since the start of the calendar year, the petrol price in Delhi has gone up by 15.4 percent from Rs 69.97 on January 1, 2018. The hike in diesel price has been even more steep. It has gone up by 22 per cent since January 1, 2018 when it was Rs 59.70.

On Monday, a united Opposition led by the Congress staged a nationwide shutdown protest against the rising fuel prices.

As per the country’s pricing mechanism, the domestic fuel prices depend upon the international fuel prices on a 15-day average and the value of the rupee.

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