New Delhi: Petrol and diesel prices remained unchanged for over a month at a stretch with no change in rates on Wednesday. Earlier both petrol and diesel rates were hiked by 80 paise a litre each, taking the total increase in rates in two weeks to Rs 10 per litre.
Petrol in Delhi now costs Rs 105.41 per litre, while diesel rate is Rs 95.87 per litre to Rs 96.67, according to a price notification of state fuel retailers. In Mumbai, petrol and diesel prices per litre stand at Rs 120.51 and Rs 104.77 respectively.
Rates across the country and vary from state to state, depending upon the incidence of local taxation.
In the last hike, the country saw the 14th increase in fuel prices since the ending of a four-and-half-month long hiatus in rate revision on 22 March.
On the first four occasions, prices were increased by 80 paise a litre - the steepest single-day rise since the daily price revision was introduced in June 2017. On the following days, petrol price went up by 50 paise and 30 paise a litre while diesel rose by 55 paise and 35 paise a litre. It was followed by a hike of 80 paise in a litre of petrol and by 70 paise for diesel.
Prices had been on a freeze since 4 November ahead of the Assembly elections in states like Uttar Pradesh and Punjab — a period during which the cost of raw material (crude oil) soared by about $30 per barrel.
The rate revision was expected soon after the counting of votes on 10 March but it was put off by a couple of weeks.
The increase in retail price warranted by crude oil prices rising during the 137-day hiatus from around $82 per barrel to $120 is huge but state-owned fuel retailers Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) are passing on the required increase in stages.
Moody's Investors Services last week stated that state retailers together lost around $2.25 billion (Rs 19,000 crore) in revenue for keeping petrol and diesel prices on hold during the election period.
Oil companies "will need to raise diesel prices by Rs 13.1-24.9 per litre and Rs 10.6-22.3 a litre on gasoline (petrol) at an underlying crude price of $100-120 per barrel," according to Kotak Institutional Equities.
CRISIL Research said a Rs 9-12 per litre increase in retail price will be required for a full pass-through of an average $100 per barrel crude oil and Rs 15-20 a litre hike if the average crude oil price rises to $110-120.
India is 85 per cent dependent on imports for meeting its oil needs and so retail rates adjust accordingly to the global movement.
Jet fuel prices on Friday were hiked by 2 per cent - the seventh straight increase this year - to an all-time high, reflecting a surge in global energy prices.
Aviation turbine fuel (ATF) - the fuel that helps aeroplanes fly - was hiked by Rs 2,258.54 per kilolitre, or 2 per cent, to Rs 1,12,924.83 per kl in the national capital, according to a price notification by state-owned fuel retailers.
There was, however, no change in the price of petrol and diesel on Friday. Prior to the second pause in 11 days, auto fuel rates had gone up by Rs 6.40 per litre.
The increase in ATF price came on the back of the steepest ever hike 18.3 per cent (Rs 17,135.63 per kl) effected on 16 March.
Jet fuel prices are revised on the 1st and 16th of every month based on the average international price of benchmark fuel in the preceding fortnight.
Jet fuel, which makes up for almost 40 per cent of the running cost of an airline, has this year surged to new highs.
ATF prices have increased every fortnight since the start of 2022. In seven hikes beginning 1 January, ATF prices have been increased by Rs 38,902.92 kl or almost 50 per cent.
With inputs from agencies