Petrol, diesel prices touch new high in two days

Rising fuel prices are forcing drivers off the road

With Tuesday's hike, petrol now sells at four-year high level of Rs 74.95 a litre and diesel at an all time high level of Rs 66.36 a litre in Delhi.

"With the Karnataka elections now over, prices have started to rise like it did in after Gujarat in Dec 17 although a full normalization would still require prices to rise another Rs 4.2 per litre or by 6 per cent", Equity research firm Jefferies said in a report. It added the OMCs margins have fallen to Rs 0.25 per liter from Rs 2.5 per liter for both the auto fuels around 16 April. The companies need to catch up on market prices as 19-day price freeze has created a wider gap.

This is the second consecutive day when prices have been hiked by the oil companies, signalling resumption of the daily price revision mechanism after a 19-day hiatus that resulted in Rs 400 crore loss for these entities.

The BJP-led government had raised excise duty nine times between November 2014 and January 2016 to shore up finances as global oil prices fell, but then also cut the tax once in October a year ago by Rs 2 a litre.

As per IOCL's website, the price of petrol was at Rs 75.10 in Delhi, Rs 77.79 in Kolkata, Rs 82.94 in Mumbai, Rs 77.93 in Chennai and Rs 76.31 in Bengaluru.

There is, however, some good news for you as after rising consistently crude oil prices fell on Wednesday on reports that there would be ample supply despite a cut in oil production by OPEC countries and United States sanctions against Iran, which is a major crude oil export country. Five states including Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Manipur had elections during the January-April 2017 period.

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This despite benchmark worldwide rate for petrol going up from $78.84 per barrel, which was used for raising the price to Rs 74.63 a litre on April 24, to $82.98 now, according to sources privy to fuel pricing methodology.

The price of fuel is expected to skyrocket past R15 per litre.

The rise in worldwide fuel prices is not the only reason for domestic retail prices touching record highs.

It may be noted that the gradual increase in prices of diesel and petrol were resumed after polling in Karnataka. "Most of us have lost sizable business because of high diesel cost".

Though retail petrol and diesel prices in India follow worldwide movement of product prices, any developments on crude oil front also impacts product pricing.

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