The downward trend in the prices of key petroleum products petrol and diesel continued Wednesday on plunging crude oil rates. While the petrol was retailing at Rs 68.65 per litre in the national capital, Diesel was being sold at 62.66 per litre. In Mumbai, petrol and diesel were being sold at Rs 74.30 per litre and 65.56 per litre, respectively. In Chennai, petrol was retailing at Rs 71.22 per litre and diesel at Rs 66.14 per litre. In Kolkata, the prices of petrol were at Rs 70.78 per litre and diesel at Rs 64.42 per litre. In Noida petrol was being sold for Rs 68.90 a litre and diesel was retailing at Rs 62.28 a litre.
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The prices of petrol and diesel have come down by over Rs 10 in the last few days following an over six per cent plunge in the global crude oil prices. The crude oil rates are at the lowest level in more than a year. The Brent crude price has fallen about 40 per cent in the October-December quarter. On Monday, crude oil prices were at USD 45.53 per barrel.
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 when it was at USD 86 per barrel, making a forecast of USD 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.
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Fuel prices are retailing at the lowest level since the all-time high in October. Prices were slashed by almost Rs 15 wiping off the massive hikes in two months beginning August 16. Petrol in Delhi was priced at Rs 77.14 per litre and in Mumbai, it had touched Rs 90-mark. Between August 16 and October 4, the petrol price was hiked by Rs 6.86 per litre and diesel by Rs 6.73.