Petrol prices could touch an all-time high with oil marketing companies (OMCs) raising their retail price for sixth consecutive day on Monday. The price of petrol here increased by a margin of 30 paisa per litre on Monday to Rs 83.71 a litre from a level of Rs 83.41 a litre on Sunday.
The OMCs also raised the price of diesel by 26 paisa per litre to Rs 73.87 a litre as against Rs 73.61 a litre a day earlier. With the increase, retail price of petrol has inched closer to all time high levels of Rs 84 a litre -- that it touched two years back on October 4, 2018. Given the rate of daily increase by OMCs, that milestone may be achieved as early as Tuesday or Wednesday.
With Monday's increase, fuel prices have now increased on 15 of the past 18 days with petrol prices rising by Rs 2.65 per litre and diesel by 3.41 a litre. Petrol prices had been static since September 22, and diesel rates hadn't changed since October 2. Though retail pricing of petrol and diesel has been deregulated and oil marketing companies were following a daily price revision formula, the same was suspendended for almost two months to prevent volatility in international oil markets from impacting fuel prices regularly during the pandemic.
But with crude on the boil again on news of a successful coronavirus vaccine launch soon, the OMCs lost their patience and finally resorted to price increase to cover for their under recovery on the sale of two petroleum products.
The benchmark Brent crude has crossed $49 a barrel on Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) lately. It has remained over $44 a barrel for most part of November.