It's not just the common man in India who is fuming over rising petrol prices. US President Donald Trump is also furious over rising crude prices. Trump lashed out at the oil exporting group OPEC for keeping the oil prices 'artificially high'.
In a tweet, the US President said, "Looks like OPEC is at it again. With record amounts of Oil all over the place, including the fully loaded ships at sea, Oil prices are artificially Very High! No good and will not be accepted!"
On Wednesday, Reuters reported that world's largest oil exporter Saudi Arabia would be happy to see crude rise to $80 or even $100 a barrel. In the last one year, Saudi Arabia has supported a rise in oil prices, a change from its more dovish stance in earlier years. However, Iran, once a keen OPEC price hawk, now wants lower prices than Saudi Arabia.
Petrol and diesel prices in Delhi today touched a 4-year high after oil prices in the international market reached their highest level in three years. Today's petrol price in Delhi was Rs 74.08 per litre, highest in last four years. Diesel price in the national capital has gone up by 4 paise to Rs 65.31.
The oil prices in India have been rising for last few weeks. On Thursday, petrol and diesel prices were hiked by 5 paise and 7 paise respectively. Yesterday, the price of petrol in Delhi rose to Rs 74.07 per litre while that of diesel went up to Rs 66.27 per litre.
Today's petrol price in Kolkata was Rs 76.78, in Mumbai Rs 81.93 and in Chennai Rs 76.85.
India imports 80 per cent of its crude oil requirement and any increase in prices in the global market leads to an increase in the price of petrol, diesel and LPG. Higher fuel prices are pushing up inflation at a time when prices of food items such as pulses have come down.
Oil prices in the international market on Thursday jumped to three-years high as US crude inventories declined and the world's top exporter Saudi Arabia pushes for higher prices by continuing to curtail supplies. Brent crude oil futures rallied as high as $74.02 a barrel, the strongest since November 27, 2014.
However, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram today in a tweet said that the crude oil price at $74 per barrel was still lower than $105 four years ago. So, why are Petrol/Diesel prices higher today than they were in May 2014? he asked, adding that "BJP boasts that it is ruling 22 States. Then, why does the BJP government refuse to bring petroleum and petroleum products under GST?"
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries or OPEC and its partners in a supply reduction pact will meet today in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. OPEC will then meet on June 22 to review its oil production policy.
OPEC and other major producers including Russia started to withhold output in 2017 to rein in oversupply that had depressed prices since 2014.
with inputs from Reuters