New Delhi: Petrol and diesel price rise went on the pause mode on Saturday after two consecutive days of sharp increase where pump price of the auto fuels rose by 65 paise per litre.
The pause came on a day when global crude prices rose by close to 1 per cent to reach this years' high level of $60 a barrel.
Petrol, diesel and other oil product prices in India are determined on the basis of petroleum product price in the global markets and not crude price. But movement in benchmark crude has a bearing on pricing across the product categories.
With price on the pause on Saturday, the retail price of diesel remained at Rs 77.13 a litre in Delhi while petrol prices remained at new high level of Rs 86.95 a litre in the capital. The retail price of the two products had risen on February 4 and 5, increasing the prices by 65 paise per litre.
Across the country as well, the fuel prices remained at Friday's level.
Though firm global crude and product price is the reason for the increase in retail price of petrol and diesel in past days, it is interesting to note that even though crude has been hovering just over $55 a barrel for a long time, OMCs had gone in for both a pause in price of auto fuels as well increase in its retail prices on consecutive days.
Crude price have remained firm for last few weeks in wake of unilateral production cuts announced by Saudi Arabia and a pick up in consumption in all major economies globally.
The petrol and diesel prices have increased 12 times in 2021 with the two auto fuels increasing by Rs 3.24 and Rs 3.26 per litre respectively so far this year.
The last few increases in pump prices in petrol and diesel has taken its price to record levels across the country in all major metro cities and other towns. The last time the retail price of auto fuels were closer to current levels was on October 4, 2018 when crude prices had shot up at $80 a barrel.
The current price rise is largely on account of steep increase in central taxes of petrol and diesel and firm crude prices. The Budget has also imposed a new agriculture infrastructure and development cess.
Petrol price was very close to breaching the all-time high level of Rs 84 a litre (reached on October 4, 2018) when it touched Rs 83.71 a litre on December 7, 2020. But the march had been halted ever since then with no price revision by the OMCs in the month. The price rise started again only on January 6.
Oil companies executives said that petrol and diesel prices may increase further in coming days as retail prices may have to be balanced in line with global developments to prevent OMCs from making loss on sale of auto fuels.