New Delhi: Decline in international crude oil prices has led to a reduction in revenue losses on fuel sales by one-fourth, but a cut in retail prices was not likely in the near future.
“Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL) have seen revenue losses on sale of petrol, diesel, LPG and kerosene coming down to Rs450 crore per day from Rs600 crore per day,” industry sources said.
The basket of crude that India buys has averaged $114.37 a barrel this month as against the July average of $132.47 per barrel.
“The fall in international prices is a relief but the companies are still losing money and we don’t see a reduction in retail prices happening till they continue to suffer losses,” a Petroleum Ministry official said.
Based on the average price of the first fortnight of August, retailers were losing Rs7.07 per litre on petrol, Rs16.22 on diesel, Rs39.55 on kerosene and Rs348.89 per 14.2 kg LPG cylinder.
These are lower than Rs11.60 per litre on petrol and Rs23.23 on diesel based on the average price on second fortnight of July.
While petrol and diesel prices are calculated every fortnight, LPG and kerosene prices are calculated once a month.
The three companies are now projected to lose Rs1,84,801 crore during the full fiscal. A fortnight back they were projected to lose Rs2,05,740 crore in 2008-09.
IOC, the company that controls about 54% of the market, is projected to lose Rs1,01,549 crore on fuel sales this fiscal.
Sources said IOC, the country’s largest retailer, was losing Rs11 crore per day on sale of petrol, Rs127 crore daily on sale of diesel, Rs75 crore per day on kerosene and Rs30 crore per day on LPG.
Last fortnight, the company was losing Rs18 crore per day on sale of petrol, Rs195 crore per day on diesel, Rs80 per day crore on kerosene and Rs36 crore per day on LPG.
Last week, Petroleum Minister Murli Deora had said: “It (fall in crude prices) is a happy sign. It is a welcome development. But there is no scope for reduction in domestic retail prices.”
The basket of crude oil India buys averaged $107.93 per barrel on last trading day, down from $119 a barrel price on 4 June, when petrol, diesel and domestic cooking gas prices were raised.
“There still are huge under-recoveries (on fuel sales). I don’t see how we can reduce retail prices when our companies continue to lose money,” Deora had said.
Fuel prices in India are pegged at $68 per barrel, much lower than the current prices in international market.