New Delhi: Consumers can cheer as oil marketing companies (OMC) may actually bring down the retail prices of petrol and diesel this festive season.
Oil sector experts said that with global oil prices under pressure from slowing demand in the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic sweeping several western countries, crude price could fall in coming days. If this holds on for a week or so, there could be positive gains for auto fuel consumers in India by way of a fall in retail price of petrol and diesel.
Global crude prices are holding close to $ 42 a barrel now. It has been hovering between $ 40-42 a barrel for over a month now. But with lower oil demand and rising inventory, there is fear a song oil producing companies that crude prices may start falling again.
OMCs in India have been holding on to the retail price of petrol and diesel for close to a month now. Even on Wednesday, the price of two petrol products remained unchanged. With this, petrol prices have now been unchanged for 29 days at a stretch while diesel prices were the same for the 19 consecutive days.
Price of petrol in the national capital was at Rs 81.06 per litre. In Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, the fuel was sold for Rs 87.74, Rs 84.14 and Rs 82.59 per litre, respectively.
Diesel prices in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata were at Rs 70.46, Rs 76.86, Rs 75.95 and Rs 73.99, respectively.
But with fresh indications on global oil prices, domestic oil companies could revise the retail price downwards. However, their margins would be protected as oil demand in the country had picked up latterly getting over even the last years numbers.
Retail sales have picked up with the gradual reopening of the economic activities. First time since lockdown, diesel sale in the country has crossed over the pre-covid level with the country's most widely consumed fuel witnessing a nine per cent year-on-year growth in the first 15 days of October.
The surge in demand after months of subdued sales is the direct result of an increase in the transport activities ahead of the festival season as consumers move out to make those necessary purchases.
According to official sources, during the first fortnight of October, diesel sales increased by 9 per cent (YoY) to reach 2.65 million tonne. The growth is even more significant at close to 25 per cent in relation to the previous month of September.
In the first 15 days of October, petrol sales also rose, but substantially lower at 1.5 per cent to close to one million tonne.