On Wednesday, fuel prices in India were raised to new highs as international oil prices continued to surge for the seventh straight day.
Brent crude, the global benchmark for oil prices was up 47 cents, or 0.8%, to $57.05 per barrel, after having risen 1.7% in the previous session. It is the seventh consecutive day of gains for the benchmark and is trading at the highest since February (before COVID-19 began spreading beyond China).
The surge comes after data from the American Petroleum Institute showed a higher than expected fall of 5.8 million barrels in US crude inventories last week to around 484.5 million barrels. Investors of the commodity have also shrugged off worsening developments in the pandemic.
In India, petrol rates per litre were hiked by 25 paise on Wednesday to Rs 84.45 in New Delhi, Rs 91.07 in Mumbai, Rs 85.92 in Kolkata and Rs 87.18 in Chennai.
Diesel prices per litre also rose by 25 paise to Rs 74.63 in New Delhi, Rs 78.22 in Kolkata, Rs 81.34 in Mumbai and Rs 79.95 in Chennai.
This hike, which comes after a five-day hiatus, has raised petrol price in New Delhi to the highest ever while diesel is at a record high in Mumbai.
State-owned fuel retailers (IOC, HPCL, BPCL) had on 6 January, resumed daily price revision after nearly a month-long hiatus. Rates were hiked on two consecutive days - totalling 49 paise for petrol and 51 paise for diesel - before they hit a pause button again.
The price increase cycle resumed after international oil prices rose for the seventh day.
Though petrol and diesel rates are to be revised on a daily basis in line with benchmark international price and foreign exchange, government-controlled fuel retailers have been moderating rates since the pandemic broke out.
This after they adjusted a Rs 13 per litre hike in excise duty on petrol and Rs 15 a litre on diesel, against a decrease in the retail selling price that was warranted by crude oil prices falling to an average of $19 per barrel in April.
Excise duty totals Rs 32.98 per litre in petrol and Rs 31.83 in diesel. VAT in Delhi totals to Rs 19.32 a litre on petrol and Rs 10.85 on diesel.
Since May 2020, petrol price has risen by Rs 14.79 per litre and diesel by Rs 12.34 a litre, price notifications of oil companies showed.
With inputs from PTI