Oil Prices Continue to Slide, But Fuel Rates Remain Unchanged in India

Manoj Prasad

Prices of petrol and diesel in India have remained steady, despite the significant drop in global crude oil rates. Here’s the most recent update on fuel prices in major cities across India and the factors influencing these trends.

Global crude oil prices are on a downward trajectory, with both international benchmarks now having wiped out all gains made in 2023.

On Monday, January 15, 2024, the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dropped to $72.50 per barrel. The U.S. benchmark has now fallen by more than 20% from its peak of $130 per barrel reached on March 8, 2022. This marks the official beginning of a bear market for oil.

Meanwhile, Brent crude futures dropped to $78.19 per barrel, indicating a technical bear market after reaching $139 per barrel last year.

The ongoing decline reflects concerns about a possible global economic downturn impacting fuel demand. The market is currently facing an oversupply due to concerns about recession and the COVID-related restrictions in China.

Given the increasing inventories, there is growing pressure on the OPEC+ alliance to reassess their approach to oil production hikes ahead of their meeting on February 1st.

No Respite for Consumers Despite Falling Crude Prices

In spite of the ongoing decrease in global crude rates since June 2022, Indian fuel retailers have chosen not to extend any benefits to consumers by reducing petrol and diesel prices.

Rates have remained unchanged across the country ever since May 22, 2022, which marked the last fuel price revision.

According to sources, refiners are still struggling to recover from the losses they faced when selling fuels at prices lower than their own costs, during a time when crude oil prices had skyrocketed to over $120 per barrel.

The freeze on rate cuts is being upheld to recover margins by both public sector Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) as well as private retailers like Reliance and Nayara Energy.

Petrol, Diesel Prices on January 15 Across Cities

There was no change in petrol and diesel prices on Monday January 15, 2024, marking the 238th consecutive day of unchanged rates.

Here are the latest fuel rates across some major cities:

  • In New Delhi, petrol continues to retail at ₹96.72 per litre and diesel at ₹89.62 per litre.
  • In Mumbai, petrol is steady at ₹106.31 a litre and diesel costs ₹94.27 per litre.
  • Petrol now costs ₹102.63 in Chennai, with diesel priced at ₹94.24 per litre.
  • In Kolkata, petrol remains at ₹106.03 per litre, and diesel at ₹92.76 per litre.

Among other cities, petrol and diesel rates remain flat at ₹96.57 per litre and ₹89.96 per litre in Noida; ₹97.18 and ₹90.05 per litre in Gurugram; ₹96.20 and ₹84.26 per litre in Chandigarh; and ₹96.57 and ₹89.76 per litre in Lucknow.

First Fuel Price Change in Over 19 Months

As consumers eagerly anticipate updates on domestic fuel rates, it is worth mentioning that the most recent price adjustment was made on May 22, 2023.

This was the first rate revision after a four and a half month freeze from November 2021 until March 2022, during the initial phase of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

For more than 19 months, the prices of transportation fuels in India have remained steady without any changes. If global cues prompt OMCs to reconsider their pricing strategies, there is potential for significant price hikes to bring benchmarks in line with international costs.

The developments also emphasize the hesitancy displayed in reducing prices despite the considerably lower cost of crude – a strategy linked to previous financial setbacks. Consumers can therefore anticipate subdued reductions in domestic fuel rates, even if the global oil decline continues.

How to Know Latest Petrol and Diesel Rates

Customers of Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum, and Hindustan Petroleum can conveniently receive daily fuel price updates through SMS services.

Just send an SMS by typing RSP and sending it to 9224992249 for IOC. To get the latest prices for BPCL, send a message with the code RSP to 9223112222. For HPCL, type HPPRICE and send it to 9222201122.

By registering your preferred petrol pump’s code, you will receive real-time rates at your locality via SMS twice a day at 10 am and 6 pm, in accordance with the daily price revisions.

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Indimarket.in and Modernagebank.com founder Manoj utilizes his tech degree and 5+ years as a stock investor to lead as editor-in-chief, overseeing all content and fact-checking for the platforms while trading.
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