New Delhi: Following successive cuts for over a month, petrol and diesel prices are now at their lowest during the last few months. The price of petrol was cut by 50 paise and diesel by 40 paise today. Following today’s decline, petrol is now at its lowest in all four metro cities — Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata — this financial year. A litre of petrol today costs ₹ 73.57 in Delhi, ₹ 79.12 in Mumbai, ₹ 74.15 in Bengaluru, ₹ 76.35 in Chennai and ₹ 75.57 in Kolkata.
A litre of diesel costs ₹ 68.49 in Delhi, ₹ 71.71 in Mumbai, ₹ 68.85 in Bengaluru, ₹ 72.34 in Chennai and ₹ 70.34 in Kolkata. The decline is not just on account of declining crude oil rates in the international market but also because of lowering of excise duty and a cut in sales tax (VAT) in several states. Besides this, state-run fuel retailers are also bearing a loss of Re 1 on every litre of petrol, diesel sold in India, on instructions from the Union finance ministry to lower fuel rates.
Petrol and diesel prices rallied from mid-August to October 4. Days after the government’s intervention to lower prices, crude oil rates also began to decline. Just last month, the forecast for crude oil was $100 a barrel and now the outlook has been halved to $50. US WTI crude futures were trading below $52 per barrel while Brent crude futures were above $60 per barrel.
Read: Petrol is now cheaper than diesel in these cities
Since early October, when petrol and diesel prices were at an all-time high, crude oil prices have lost almost a third of their value, weighed down by an emerging supply overhang and by widespread weakness in financial markets.
The exchange rate of rupee, which was then trading above 74 against the US dollar, is also now trading below 71. A stronger rupee makes oil imports cheaper for India.
Petrol, diesel prices are likely to drop further in India in the coming days as oil companies factor in a fortnightly average of crude oil prices. In the international oil market, all eyes are now on the OPEC meeting on December 6 where the producers are expected to cut supply and boost prices.