Owing to tumbling rates of crude oil around the globe, Petrol and Diesel prices in India went down again on November 5th, by 22 paise and 20 paise respectively. Petrol prices are now thankfully at an all-time low since September, after briefly nudging on an all-time high in October. Right now, a litre of petrol costs Rs 78.56 in New Delhi, Rs 80.47 in Kolkata, Rs 81.61 in Chennai and Rs 84.06 in Mumbai.
Diesel prices however, have not reduced proportionately. Presently, New Delhi is selling diesel at Rs 73.16 per litre, Kolkata at Rs 75.02 per litre, Chennai at Rs 77.4 per litre, and Mumbai at Rs 76.67 per litre. Automobile manufacturers and retailers have also been lamenting the gradually declining gap between petrol and diesel prices. The difference in the price of petrol and diesel is just Rs 4.27 in Chennai as per today’s rates. And in a striking overturn of events, petrol (at Rs 77.43 per litre) is already cheaper than diesel (at Rs 78.51 per litre) in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha.
This drop in petrol and diesel prices, is partly attributed to government intervention that began in the month of October. It is more in line with the international slump in crude oil rates, though. India has been a direct beneficiary of this slump, as it is reliant on imports for almost 80% of its total crude oil requirements. Globally, oil prices have fallen by nearly $15 in less than a month after they peaked to their two-and-a-half-year high in early October. Back then, a barrel of Brent cost over $85. Since then, Brent has lost more than 16% in value, while WTI has declined by more than 18%.
The drop in oil prices today were fueled by US sanctions against Iran’s fuel exports being softened by waivers that will allow eight countries to engage in a temporary import of Iranian oil. India is a big importer of Iran’s oil, and in a recent announcement, the Trump administration in the USA has announced that it will exempt India from the sanctions.