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What Falling Crude Prices means to India ?

December 5, 2008

Crude prices tumbled US$20/bbl in November 2008 led by concerns of a deep and lasting global recession resulting in weakening global demand and strengthening of the US Dollar. The following chart shows 14 year historical Crude Oil prices in USD / barrel.
Crude Oil Prices Between 1995 to 2008Refining margins have declined sharply and plunged into negative territory in November 2008 led by demand weakness and sharp contraction in product (naphtha and gasoline) cracks. We could see a short-term rebound from current very low levels but expect refining margins to remain under pressure.

For December 2008, the marketing margin for gasoline at Rs10.9/liter (versus Rs1.3/liter in November and -Rs6.6/liter YTD), the marketing margin for diesel at Rs4.6/liter (versus -Rs0.1/liter in November and -Rs11.8/liter YTD). Subsidy losses on LPG and kerosene were at Rs72/cylinder and Rs16.3/liter for December 2008 compared to Rs217/cylinder and s20.9/liter in November 2008. Since current retail prices result in very high marketing margins, expect the Government to cut prices of diesel and gasoline over the next few days.

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