India’s oil retailers hiked petrol and diesel prices by Rs 0.8 per liter to offset crude oil gains, ending an unofficial 138-day freeze that coincided with state elections.

Petrol and diesel are now on sale for Rs 96.21 and Rs 87.47 per liter respectively in Delhi, according to Bloomberg data. The price of 14.2kg unsubsidized LPG cylinder was also increased by Rs 50 to Rs 949.5.

The price of diesel sold to large consumers was increased by 25 rupees per liter on Sunday, PTI reported.

Pump prices rose for the first time since Nov. 4, when the central government cut excise taxes and several states followed suit with cuts in value-added taxes to ease the burden on consumers. Crude oil, however, has risen to its highest level in nearly a decade as the Russian invasion of Ukraine threatens to curb supplies.

While Brent crude repeated itself from a 14-year high of $139.13 a barrel on March 7, the Asian benchmark for oil traded at $118 on March 22.

International prices are expected to remain elevated for several more months as a result of economic sanctions against Russia.

Other factors expected to support oil prices include a gradual recovery in global oil demand on the back of the easing pandemic and a slower-than-expected rise in OPEC+ monthly output.

“A $1 per barrel change in the benchmark gasoline/diesel price has a 40 paise per liter impact on OMCs (oil marketing companies) margins,” said a report by Motilal Oswal.

Analysts had expected a rise after the latest poll in Uttar Pradesh on March 7. ICICI Securities had said OMC’s marketing margins had fallen to minus Rs 4.92 per liter in the first week of March 2022, compared to Rs 3.97 in Q3 FY22.

According to research reports from Emkay Global and Jefferies, a minimum price increase of Rs 20 per liter is required for OMCs to maintain normative margins.

Prior to the increase, oil retailers reported losses on both gasoline and diesel. According to Motilal Oswal’s Feb. 21 report, the inability to pass cost inflation through elections casts doubt on the independence of the OMCs, driving valuation multiples back to the regime when prices were formerly regulated.

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