NEW DELHI :
Narrowing the rate gap between the two fuels, the price of diesel is now growing at a sharper rate than that of petrol. In the month of December, petrol price went up by just 28 paise a litre but that of diesel spiked by ₹2.18 a litre. Continuing with the trend, state-run fuel retailers hiked the price of petrol of 11 paise a litre today but for diesel it was 14 paise a litre.
In November, the situation was reverse when the price difference between petrol and diesel was widening. Petrol price was hiked by ₹1.94 a litre while diesel price went in the opposite direction with a decline of 7 paise.
Petrol is priced higher than diesel due to a difference in the international benchmark rate of the two automobile fuels. State-run fuel retailers, which announce new pricing daily at 6 am, take into account a fortnightly average of the international benchmark rate of petrol and diesel. A complex formula, which also takes into consideration the exchange rate of US dollar and rupee, is used to calculate the price of the two fuels. The value of the rupee is crucial as India imports around 80% of its crude oil requirements.
In New Delhi, a litre of petrol today costs ₹75.25 and diesel ₹68.10. In Mumbai, a litre of petrol costs ₹80.87 a litre and diesel ₹71.43 a litre. If you are in Bengaluru, you pay ₹77.79 for petrol and ₹70.39 for diesel. In Chennai, petrol costs ₹78.20 for petrol and ₹71.98 for diesel. Those in Hyderabad will have to pay ₹80.04 for petrol and ₹74.28 for diesel. In Gurgaon, you pay ₹74.67 for petrol and ₹67.09 for diesel.
If crude oil price forecasts are taken as an indication, the price of petrol and diesel is unlikely to see any sharp increase or decrease. In 2020, Brent is forecast to average $63.07 a barrel while WTI is forecast to average $57.70 a barrel, according to a market poll conducted by Reuters. Last month's decision by Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies to cut crude oil production and the easing of trade tensions between the US and China are now supporting crude oil prices.