New Delhi: Petrol and diesel prices were lowered for the fourth straight day today, tracking a decline in global oil prices. In Delhi, petrol today retailed at 69.86 a litre - its lowest this year - after rates were cut by 20 to 22 paise in top cities. In Kolkata, petrol retailed at 71.96, in Mumbai 75.48, in Chennai 72.48 and in Bengaluru 70.42. Similarly, in Delhi, diesel retailed at 63.83 a litre, in Kolkata 65.59, in Mumbai 66.79, in Mumbai 67.38 and in Bengaluru 64.18, down 18 to 20 paise. So far in four days, the retail price of petrol and diesel are off 70 to 80 paise a litre in top cities.

The retail price of both petrol and diesel depend broadly on global crude oil price and rupee-dollar exchange rate as India imports three-fourth of its crude oil requirement. Besides that central and state level taxes and marketing margins determine the final price consumers pay at the pump.

Global oil prices have fallen sharply in recent months on rising supplies and concerns over a slowing global economy. International benchmark Brent crude fell below $53 a barrel last week, its lowest since September 2017. Brent is down nearly a third from its October highs. To ease supply worries, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies including Russia agreed earlier this month to cut oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd). The cuts will take place from January. But concerns over global demand will weigh on oil prices, say analysts.

Back in India, petrol prices had hit a record high of 84 per litre in Delhi and 91.34 in Mumbai on October 4 when crude prices were hovering around $85 a barrel. Diesel had also peaked at an all-time high of 75.45 a litre in Delhi and 80.10 in Mumbai.

Since then, petrol and diesel prices have fallen sharply in India. Compared to October 4 highs, petrol prices are down about 14 to 16 a litre in top cities. Similarly, diesel prices are off 12 to 13.50 a litre.

India’s monthly crude oil imports in November marked their biggest year-on-year decline in nearly four years, according to data from the oil ministry. November crude oil imports slid 11.4% to 17.01 million tonnes.

(With Agency Inputs)

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