Petrol hits all-time high of Rs 91.56 a litre, diesel at Rs 81.87

by Ajit Dalvi 18 Jan 2021

Everything official about it. The price of petrol per litre in Mumbai today – Rs 91.56 per litre – has gone past the previous all-time high of Rs 91.34 a litre recorded on October 4, 2018. Diesel too has not been spared and is priced today at a record Rs 81.87 a litre.

The first fossil fuel price rises in CY2021 happened on January 6-7, followed by five days of ‘rest’ and two days of increase on January 13-14. On January 14, petrol price was hiked to Rs 91.32, just 2 paise shy of the October 4, 2014 record high. That has been breached by today's hike of 24 paise a litre. 

Over the past 12 days, petrol price as risen by 73 paise a litre and that of diesel by 80 paise a litre. The price differential between the two fuels is now Rs 9.69 a litre.  

For most of December 2020, there were scarcely any price hikes in fossil fuels and there was a 27-day relief for motorists as oil marketing companies kept petrol and diesel prices unchanged. There has been a speedy rise in crude oil prices and Brent crude is today trading at $55.42 a barrel, down $1.77 from January 14’s  S57.19 a barrel. 

Around end-November 2020, a barrel of crude was S44.48, more than twice the two-decade low when crude oil prices had dived to under $20 a barrel in April 2020. However, the Indian motorist never got the benefit of lower prices even when global crude oil prices had plunged. Now, with global oil prices firming due , expect a regular rise

Like the stock markets, crude oil prices react to a number of variable including supply and demand, economic news and crises like Covid-19. As countries lift lockdowns and return to manufacturing operations, the need for transport operations, particularly as nations race to deliver critical Covid-19 vaccine, the demand for crude oil has risen and resultantly the price.


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