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Oil Prices Fall Over 15% On Storage Concerns; Fuel Price In India Unchanged

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After a 25 percent decline seen on Monday, oil prices in the international market slipped over 15 percent on Tuesday on continued fears over rapidly filling storages.

The US benchmark for crude- West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell 15.3 percent or $1.96 to $10.82 a barrel on Tuesday while global benchmark Brent crude was trading 3.8 percent lower at $19.23 per barrel. On the previous day, Brent lost 6.76 percent to close at $19.99/barrel.

Oil Prices Fall Over 15% On Storage Concerns; Fuel Price In India Unchanged
 

Meanwhile, petrol and diesel prices in India remained unchanged for the 43rd straight day on Tuesday. These rates are revised on a daily basis by state-owned oil retailers, however, they have been the same as that on 14 March despite a steep fall in international oil prices.

Retail prices of fuel in India are based on changes in Brent crude, fluctuations on rupee's exchange value and government-imposed taxes.

In the global futures market, it is the eighth out of the nine past weeks that oil prices have been declining due to a significant fall in global demand for fuel amid COVID-19. A Reuters report said that the pandemic has erased as much as a third of global demand for oil.

Last week, in the third straight week of losses May WTI contract plunged into negative territory for the first time ever, two days before expiry as financial traders scrambled to avoid having to take delivery of oil.

To avoid a similar fate, investors are moving away from June contract to later months, according to a Reuters report, causing the currently seen decline in oil prices.

Rates were further affected after the United States Oil Fund, which trades under the ticker 'USO,' said it would sell all of its contracts for June delivery beginning Monday, in favour of longer-term contracts.

Despite production cuts announced by oil producers, a Reuters report citing market experts said the these reductions are not fast enough to balance the unprecedented dip in demand from the pandemic.

Precautionary measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 like the grounding of airlines, halting public transport, manufacturing activities and tourism have brought down the spending on fuel around the world.

Story first published: Tuesday, April 28, 2020, 8:55 [IST]
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