Petrol and diesel prices increased by up to 14 paise and 20 paise respectively in major cities across the country on Thursday following the continuous fall of rupee even as crude oil rates dipped after US production quickly approached an unprecedented 12 million barrels per day (bpd).
After the revision of fuel prices on Thursday, petrol was retailing in Delhi at Rs 70.47 per litre, Mumbai Rs 76.11, Chennai Rs 73.15 and Kolkata Rs 72.58 a litre, according to data available on the website of Indian Oil Corporation.
Diesel in Delhi was priced at Rs 64.78 per litre, Mumbai Rs 67.82, Chennai Rs 68.42 and Kolkata Rs 66.55 a litre on Thursday.
Petrol and diesel prices have gone up by Rs 1.82 and Rs 2.22 respectively in Delhi since 1 January, 2019. At the beginning of the year, petrol was priced at Rs 68.65 and diesel at Rs 62.66 in the National Capital. Diesel continued its upward move for the eight day in a row.
Meanwhile, crude oil prices dipped on Thursday as US crude production quickly approached an unprecedented 12 million bpd just as worries about weakening demand emerge.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $52 per barrel, down 31 cents, or 0.6 percent, from their last settlement. International Brent crude oil futures were down 34 cents, or 0.6 percent, at $60.98 per barrel.
American crude oil production reached a record 11.9 million bpd in the week ending Jan. 11, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday, up from 11.7 million bpd last week, which was already the highest national output in the world.
US output has soared by 2.4 million bpd since January 2018, stoking fears of a supply glut.
The EIA also said gasoline stockpiles climbed 7.5 million barrels last week, far exceeding analyst expectations in a Reuters poll for a 2.8 million-barrel gain. At 255.6 million barrels, gasoline stocks were at their highest weekly level since February, 2017.
“While (US crude) inventories fell slightly more than expected, there was a large build in gasoline inventories. This stoked fears of weak demand in the US,” ANZ Bank said in a note.
Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 3.0 million barrels, versus expectations for a 1.6 million-barrel increase, the EIA data showed.
US exports surge, OPEC cuts
Along with the surge in US crude output, exports from the United States are also rising, hitting a record 3.2 million bpd by the end of last year.
“Crude oil exports from the US have strongly increased during the last few years and the trend is expected to remain positive,” shipping brokerage Banchero Costa said in a note.
Norbert Ruecker, head of commodity research at Swiss Julius Baer, said “the United States is moving forward towards energy independence and is set to become a petroleum net exporter next year thanks to rising shale output”.
To stem a lurking petroleum glut, the Middle East-dominated Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producer Russia are leading efforts to cut supply.
This has prevented crude prices from falling much lower despite softening demand and the surge in US output.
--With inputs from Reuters
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Updated Date: Jan 17, 2019 11:51:00 IST