Cooking gas prices rise to record highs

Cooking gas prices rise to record highs

Cooking gas prices rose Rs 15 per cylinder to record highs on Wednesday as crude oil crossed $83 a barrel.

Domestic cooking gas, or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), will now cost Rs 899.5 per cylinder in Delhi. Its rates have risen by Rs 305 per cylinder, or 50%, in just a year following a surge in international rates of the fuel.

The price of LPG sold by Saudi Arabia, one of the biggest suppliers of fuel to India, has risen 76% in a year to $665 per metric tonne. For November, Saudi Arabia has announced a price of $797 per tonne, a further increase of 20%. This means consumers should brace for a steeper hike next month.

Saudi Arabia has been a price-setter in the LPG market and deeply influences the rates from other key suppliers such as Qatar, Kuwait and the UAE.

Trouble for Indian consumers has been mounting as most of them no longer receive LPG subsidy any more. The lack of subsidy mainly hurts millions of customers from poor families, which have switched to cleaner fuel in recent years and are often tempted to go back to the traditional polluting biomass.

Rising crude oil prices have also pushed up domestic petrol and diesel rates to new highs. Petrol prices rose by 30 paise and diesel by 35 paise a litre on Wednesday. In Delhi, petrol now costs Rs 102.94 per litre and diesel Rs 91.42.

Executives at state-run oil companies have warned that petrol and diesel prices may see a steeper hike in the coming days as the crude oil rally is gaining momentum and prices have not corrected as they had initially anticipated.

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