India’s crude oil basket price fell on Monday to $99.17 per barrel at an exchange rate of Rs 76.74 per dollar, according to the latest report released on Tuesday.
Today, the Petroleum Ministry’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell’s latest report showed the Indian crude oil basket’s fall on Monday, marks the third time in the last two weeks that prices have fallen below the $100 a barrel level.
Indeed, the Indian crude basket price was $97.82 per barrel on April 11 and $99.86 per barrel on April 12, 2022.
That follows the weakening in global oil markets, with the London-traded international benchmark, Brent, down over 4 per cent on Monday after dropping 1.5 per cent on Friday and marking a 4.5 per cent loss for last week.
Global oil markets have gone through wild gyrations since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, but Brent and US futures have, for the most part, traded above $100 per barrel.
Still, benchmark crude prices have weakened in recent trading weeks on demand concerns driven by the renewed surge in COVID-19 cases in China and the following strict restriction imposed there.
If the weakening trend continues, April will be this year’s first month in the negative for Brent. However, the bias is still tilted to the upside on supply disruptions because of Western sanctions on Russia for its attack on Ukraine.
Still, the latest fall in crude prices is welcome news for India as it depends on imports for 85 per cent of its oil needs.
But expectations that the path of least resistance for global oil being a rise would eventually push Indian crude prices higher and, in turn, push state retailers in India to hike fuel rates, which have been unchanged for 20 consecutive days now.