After a rise in the prices of fuel on Thursday, petrol and diesel again witnessed an increase up to Rs 0.20 on Friday. In the national capital Delhi, petrol price rose to Rs 70.55 a litre as against Rs 70.47 on Thursday whereas diesel price increased to 64.97 as compared to Rs 64.78 yesterday. In Mumbai, petrol price rose to 76.18, 7 paise higher than yesterday's price of Rs 76.11. Diesel in Mumbai was priced at Rs 68.02, 20 paise higher than yesterday's price of Rs 67.82. A litre of petrol in Kolkata cost Rs 72.65, while diesel cost Rs 66.74 a litre. In Chennai, prices of petrol and diesel were Rs 73.23 and Rs 68.62 a litre, respectively.
In Noida, prices of petrol and diesel were Rs 70.40 and Rs 64.26 a litre, respectively. Petrol was retailing at Rs 71.43 in Gurugram and Rs 71.64 a litre in Faridabad, respectively. While diesel was priced at Rs 64.88 in Gurugram and Rs 65.09 in Faridabad, respectively.
Oil prices dipped on Thursday as US crude production quickly approached an unprecedented 12 million barrels per day (bpd) just as worries about weakening demand emerge. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $52 per barrel in morning trade in Asia while international Brent crude oil futures were down 34 cents, or 0.6 per cent, at $60.98 per barrel.
Prior to an increase in prices on January 7, rates had cooled to a year's low of Rs 68.29 for petrol and Rs 62.16 in case of diesel. This followed a decline in rates on almost all days since October 18, 2018. In all, the petrol price has fallen by Rs 14.54 per litre since October 18, 2018, while diesel price declined by Rs 13.53 per litre in two-and-a-half months.
If the last three months are taken into account then the price of petrol has fallen by about Rs 12 or about 15%. International benchmark Brent crude oil, which is now trading close to the $60 per barrel mark, has lost about 25% of its value during the corresponding period.
It may be noted that the recent fall in the value of rupee against the US dollar has offset gains from the falling crude oil prices. The rupee has fallen over 3 per cent in the last few days. The crude prices have fallen by over 30 per cent since early October last year when it was at $86 per barrel, making a forecast of $100 crude by January look true. The twin factors, therefore, have brought down retail fuel rates to two-month low. Retail fuel prices in India depend on both international oil price and the rupee-dollar exchange rate. Also, the pump price of petrol and diesel is dependent on the global rates of benchmark fuel and the rupee-US dollar exchange rate.