Fuel prices across the country remained unchanged for the third day on Wednesday amid the crash in global oil markets and crude slipping to $28 per barrel. The price of petrol in the national capital currently stands at Rs 69.75 per litre while diesel is priced at Rs 62.44 per litre.
The price freeze followed an 18-day declining streak in retail rates on the back of a slump in global crude and commodity prices. Automobile fuel prices have followed a downward trajectory since the start of the year, falling 7-8 per cent since 1 January 2020.
Fuel prices this month have been the lowest since January 2019 but the decline has not been able to stimulate demand as Coronavirus outbreak starts restricting public movement in India.
Domestic demand for petrol, diesel, Aviation Turbine Fuel and shipping fuel has contracted 10 per cent in the first fortnight of March, the first such decline in several years.
Oil prices rebounded slightly in Asian trade on Wednesday, with Brent crude trading at around $29 per barrel in early trade.
While domestic fuel prices are not directly linked to global prices of crude oil, petrol and diesel prices typically trail global oil prices. Oil marketing companies fix the price of petrol and diesel at retail outlets based on a rolling average of the past 15 days of the benchmark prices of petrol and diesel in West Asia.
The fall in global oil and commodity prices has also resulted in a drop in the prices of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, Aviation Turbine Fuel and auto LPG prices in India.