Jet fuel prices on Tuesday were increased by 3.3 per cent to all-time high levels across the country, in step with international oil prices surging to over seven-year-high.
This is the fifth hike in jet fuel or Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) prices this year following an unrelenting rise in global oil prices, but petrol and diesel prices remained unchanged for a record 116th day in a row, coinciding with electioneering to elect new governments in states like Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.
ATF price was hiked by Rs 3,010.87 per kilolitre or 3.22 per cent to Rs 93,530.66 per kl in the national capital, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers. 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 Rs 71,028.26 per kl was recorded in August 2008 when international crude oil prices touched $147 per barrel. Brent crude oil on Tuesday was trading above $100 per barrel.
ATF prices have increased every fortnight since the start of 2022. In five hikes beginning January 1, ATF prices have been increased by Rs 19,508.25 per kl or 26.35 per cent.
These hikes in the rate came on the back of two rounds of price cuts seen in December that reflected a drop in international oil prices during the second half of November and mid-December.
Thereafter, international rates have firmed up, leading to the hike in ATF prices.
ATF prices had last peaked at Rs 80,835.04 per kl in mid-November 2021 before it was cut on December 1 and 15 by a total of Rs 6,812.25 per kl or 8.4 per cent.
Jet fuel prices are revised on the 1st and 16th of every month based on the average price of the international benchmark in the preceding fortnight.
Unlike ATF, petrol and diesel rates are revised daily after taking the average price in the preceding fortnight. But prices have remained unchanged since the last revision on November 4, 2021, when the central government had cut excise duty on petrol by Rs 5 per litre and that on diesel by Rs 10 a litre.
Cooking gas LPG prices too have been on freeze since October when they touched Rs 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 $68.87 a barrel on December 1.
Prices have climbed to over $105 per barrel last week following the Russia-Ukraine crisis and is now trading at $100.99, well above the peak of $86.40 touched on October 26, 2021, which had led to petrol and diesel prices spiking to an all-time high.
Petrol costs Rs 95.41 a litre in Delhi and diesel is priced at Rs 86.67, price information from state fuel retailers showed.
Before the excise duty cut, petrol and diesel prices had touched an all-time high across the country. While petrol had crossed the Rs 100 a litre mark in most cities, diesel was above that level in nearly half the country.
In Delhi, petrol was Rs 110.04 a litre and diesel was Rs 98.42.
Prices had eased from an all-time high on November 4, 2021, after the Union government had cut excise duty on petrol by Rs 5 per litre and diesel by Rs 10 a litre.
States had also cut local sales tax or VAT on the two fuels -- BJP-ruled states on the same day and some others at differing dates thereafter. But other than these two, the basis rates have remained unchanged.