New Delhi: Jet fuel prices on Wednesday, March 16, were hiked by over 18 per cent – the steepest ever increase – to all-time high levels after international oil prices surged to a multi-year high. The increase – sixth straight this year – led to prices soaring past the Rs 1-lakh-per-kilolitre mark for the first time ever.
Aviation turbine fuel (ATF) – the fuel that helps aeroplanes fly – was hiked by 17,135.63 per kl, or 18.3 per cent, to ₹110,666.29 per kl in the national capital, according to a price notification by state-owned fuel retailers.
Jet fuel prices are revised on the 1st and 16th of every month based on the average international price of benchmark fuel in the preceding fortnight. International oil prices had climbed to a 14-year high of near USD 140 per barrel last week on fears of supply disruption following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Rates have since mellowed to around USD 100 per barrel.
In Mumbai, ATF price soared to ₹109,119.83 a kl and it costs ₹114,979.70 in Kolkata. Jet fuel is priced at ₹114,133.73 per kl in Chennai.
Jet fuel, which makes up for almost 40 per cent of the running cost of an airline, has this year surged to new highs.
The previous peak of ₹71,028.26 per kl was recorded in August 2008, when international crude oil prices touched USD 147 per barrel. Brent crude oil on Wednesday was trading just above USD 100 per barrel.
ATF prices have increased every fortnight since the start of 2022. In six hikes beginning January 1, ATF prices have been increased by ₹36,643.88 kl or almost 50 per cent.
Unlike ATF, petrol and diesel prices continue to remain on freeze for a record 132nd straight day on Wednesday. The daily price revision was put on hold on November 4, 2021, just as electioneering to elect new governments in states like Uttar Pradesh and Punjab started.
Cooking gas LPG prices too have been on freeze since October, when they touched ₹900 per cylinder.
This is despite a wild swing in international oil prices. Brent crude oil, the best-known international benchmark, was at USD 82.74 per barrel on November 5, 2021, before it started to fall and touched USD 68.87 a barrel on December 1.
Prices climbed to over USD 139 per barrel last week following the Russia-Ukraine crisis and are now trading at USD 101, well above the peak of USD 86.40 touched on October 26, 2021, which had led to petrol and diesel prices spiking to an all-time high.
Petrol costs ₹95.41 a litre in Delhi and diesel is priced at ₹86.67, price information from state fuel retailers showed.
The record-high retail pump prices prompted the government to cut excise duty on petrol by ₹5 a litre and that on diesel by ₹10. Many states matched this with a reduction in local sales tax or VAT rates.
Before the excise duty cut, petrol and diesel prices had touched an all-time high across the country. While petrol had crossed the ₹100 a litre mark in most cities, diesel was above that level in nearly half the country. In Delhi, petrol was ₹110.04 a litre and diesel was ₹98.42.