Petrol price crossed Rs 70-mark in Delhi for the fist time this year as the oil marketing companies hiked fuel prices for the fifth straight day on Monday even though crude rates fell by almost 1 percent, with Brent crude slipping below $60 per barrel.
Petrol and diesel prices increased by up to 40 paise and 53 paise respectively in major cities across the country mainly due to weak rupee and rise in crude prices during the last week.
After the price revision, petrol was sold in Delhi at Rs 70.13 per litre, Mumbai Rs 75.77, Chennai Rs 72.79 and Kolkata Rs 72.24 a litre on Monday, according to the data available on Indian Oil Corporation's website. Diesel was retailing at Rs 64.18 per litre, Mumbai Rs 67.18, Chennai Rs 67.78 and Kolkata Rs 65.95 a litre.
In Mumbai, petrol price crossed Rs 75-mark per litre on Sunday for the first time this year.
Meanwhile, crude oil prices fell by almost 1 percent on Monday, with Brent crude slipping below $60 per barrel, after Chinese data showed weakening imports and exports in the world’s biggest trading nation and second-largest crude oil consumer.
International Brent crude oil futures were at $59.91 per barrel, down 57 cents, or 0.9 percent from their last close.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 47 cents, or 0.9 percent, at $51.12 a barrel.
China’s December overall exports fell by 4.4 percent from a year earlier, the biggest monthly drop in two years, official data showed on Monday, pointing to further weakening in the world’s second-largest economy. Imports last month also contracted, falling 7.6 percent, the biggest decline since July 2016.
“Crude futures were back in the red as trading began for a fresh week in Asia, in tandem with most of the region’s stock markets ... (as) China early on Monday reported $351.76 billion trade surplus in dollar terms for 2018, the lowest since 2013,” said energy consultant Vandana Hari of Vanda Insights in a note on Monday.
Despite the weak Chinese trade data, the country’s oil imports remained sky-high in December at 10.31 million barrels per day (bpd), holding above the 10 million bpd mark for the second month in a row, on stock-building by small independent refiners who were trying to use up annual quotas.
Amid this strong demand from the world’s biggest oil importer, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and some non-OPEC allies, including Russia, have been cutting supply since late 2018, providing crude prices with some support.
--With inputs from Reuters
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Updated Date: Jan 14, 2019 15:15:57 IST