The retail prices of petrol and diesel remained unchanged on Tuesday in the national capital, continuing a 22-day freeze by state-owned Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) across the country, despite a collapse in global crude and petroleum product prices.
Benchmark Brent crude prices were trading at $21 per barrel last month as global oil demand destruction caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, and an oil market-share war between Saudi and Russia, continued to weigh on the sector.
The price of petrol in the national capital stood at Rs 69.75 per litre while diesel costs Rs 62.44 per litre. In Mumbai, prices for petrol and diesel stood at Rs 76.31 per litre and Rs 66.21 per litre respectively.
Research analysts had indicated that OMCs were not prompt in correcting fuel prices in order to offset inventory losses incurred in the fourth quarter due to a fall in global oil prices. However, gains made due to the price freeze will be limited, as demand for petrol and diesel has collapsed due to the 21-day lockdown.
Industry executives told ET that demand for petrol, diesel and aviation turbine fuel (ATF) has witnessed a steep fall in the month of March 2020. Petrol sales fell 15.5 per cent, diesel sales fell by 24 per cent and ATF sales fell by 31 per cent in the month of March 2020 as compared to the corresponding month a year ago.
The country transitioned to the cleaner Bharat Stage VI (BS VI) fuel on 1 April.
“Considering the current crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the OMCs have kept the prices of petrol and diesel unchanged with effect from 1st April 2020, which were otherwise also being maintained steady,” IndianOil said in a statement.