New Delhi: As crude oil prices struggle to come out of a bear market and the rupee recovering to 72 against the US dollar, petrol and diesel prices continued to fall today by 15 paise and 10 paise respectively. This is the 30th consecutive today when fuel prices have not been increased in India. A litre of petrol now costs ₹ 77.28 in Delhi, ₹ 82.80 in Mumbai, ₹ 80.26 in Chennai, ₹ 77.90 in Bengaluru and ₹ 79.21 in Kolkata. Petrol prices are now on its lowest since September.
Diesel, on the other hand, is priced at ₹ 72.09 in Delhi, ₹ 75.53 in Mumbai, ₹ 76.19 in Chennai, ₹ 72.48 in Bengaluru or Bangalore and ₹ 73.95 in Kolkata. The price gap between petrol and diesel has also narrowed down in all major cities from ₹ 10 last year to ₹ 4-6 now.
State-run oil fuel retailers calculate the daily fuel price based on two primary factors — 15-day average of crude oil rates and exchange rate of rupee. Both factors are now working in favour of a lower fuel price.
International crude oil prices matter because India imports about 80% of its requirements. A weakening rupee, which had touched a record low of 74.48 per dollar on October 11, was making it worse for oil companies. The rupee is now trading close to 72 a dollar even as the currency has weakened by about 11% this year.
Crude oil prices, on the other hand, have lost around one-fourth of their value since early October with demand falling below supply. Two days ago, crude oil rate eroded 7% of its value and has slipped down further today.
Front-month Brent crude oil futures were trading at $65.88 per barrel while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $55.96 a barrel, down by 0.5%.