Petrol, diesel prices continue to fall; crude oil climbs more than 1%, but set for first yearly drop since 2015
Crude oil prices climbed on the final trading day of the year, mirroring gains in stock markets, but were on track for the first yearly decline in three years amid lingering concerns of a persistent supply glut.
Petrol and diesel prices declined up to 20 paise and 23 paise respectively on New Year eve in major cities across the country on Monday as rates continued to fall for the 11th consecutive day.
The reason for the continuous drop in prices in the domestic market is attributed to the dip in crude oil during the past week and appreciation of rupee against the US dollar.
Following the price cut, petrol was sold in Delhi at Rs 68.84 per litre, Mumbai Rs 74.47, Chennai Rs 71.41 and Kolkata Rs 70.96 a litre on Monday. Diesel was retailed at Rs 62.86 in Delhi per litre, Mumbai Rs 65.76, Chennai Rs 66.35 and Kolkata Rs 64.61 per litre, according to the data available on Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) website.
Petrol and diesel prices declined by Rs 3.69 and Rs 4.26 respectively since 1 December, as per IOC data. Petrol price had touched a record peak of Rs 84 per litre and diesel Rs 75.45 a litre in October this year in Delhi due to rising crude rates and depreciation in rupee value against the US dollar.
Meanwhile, crude oil prices climbed on the final trading day of the year on Monday, mirroring gains in stock markets, but were on track for the first yearly decline in three years amid lingering concerns of a persistent supply glut.
Brent crude futures rose 74 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $53.95 a barrel. Brent declined nearly 20 percent in 2018 following two years of growth.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $45.84 a barrel, up 51 cents, or 1.1 percent, from their last close. WTI is down about 24 percent this year.
For most of 2018, oil prices were on the rise, driven up by healthy demand and also supply concerns, especially around the impact of renewed US sanctions against major producer Iran, which were introduced in early November.
Brent crude futures, seen as a global benchmark for oil prices, rose by almost a third between January and October, to a high of $86.74 per barrel.
The current downward pressure on oil prices should likely taper off from January, analysts said, as the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies including Russia starts curbing production by 1.2 million barrels per day.
The market, however, might still remain under some pressure from swelling production in the United States, which has emerged as the world’s biggest crude producer this year, pumping 11.6 million barrels per day (bpd).
— With inputs from Reuters
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