New Delhi: Petrol and diesel prices continued their downward trend, with rates cut around 19 paise to 25 paise per litre in top cities. Petrol prices fell to their lowest level in 2018, after rates were cut by 19-21 paise. Diesel rates, cut around 23-25 paise today, fell to their lowest in nine months. In Delhi petrol retailed at 68.84 a litre, in Kolkata 70.96, in Mumbai 74.47, in Chennai 71.41, in Bengaluru 69.39 and in Noida 69.04.

Similarly, in Delhi diesel retailed at 62.86 a litre, in Kolkata 64.61, in Mumbai 65.76, in Chennai 66.35, in Bengaluru 63.2 and in Noida 62.44. Tracking a fall global oil prices, domestic petrol and diesel prices have been on a decline over three months. The retail selling price of petrol and diesel is dependent on the international prices of benchmark fuel and the rupee-US dollar exchange rate as a large proportion of the country’s requirement is met through imports.

Petrol price had touched a record high of 84 per litre in Delhi and 91.34 in Mumbai on October 4. Diesel on that day had peaked to 75.45 a litre in Delhi and 80.10 in Mumbai. On that day, the government decided to cut excise duty on petrol and diesel by 1.50 per litre each and asked state-owned fuel retailers to subsidise the price by another Re 1 a litre by reducing their margins.

But since then, international oil prices have been falling and rupee has also appreciated, resulting in a decline in retail rates. Since October 4, petrol prices in Delhi are down 15 a litre and diesel 12.5 per litre.

Global oil prices are on track for the first annual decline in three years amid lingering concerns of a global slowdown and supply glut. Brent crude, seen as a global benchmark for oil prices, rose by almost a third between January and October, to a high of $86.74 per barrel. That was the highest level since late 2014. But since then oil prices have tumbled and Brent prices have wiped out all of 2018’s gains, plunging by almost 40% from the year’s high, in what has been one of the steepest oil market sell offs of the past decades.

(With Agency Inputs)

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