Petrol price may be cut by about Rs 1.60 per litre later this month as appreciation of rupee against the US dollar has helped state firms make profit on the fuel. Indian rupee appreciated to five-month high since the government announced allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retailing. This has eased the cost of imports for oil firms, helping them make profit on sale of petrol.

"Yes, there is about Rs 1.60 per litre profit on petrol since October 1. But we want this trend to stabilise before we think of cutting retail prices," a senior executive at one of the three state-owned fuel retailers said. Petrol price was last revised on July 24 when it was raised by 70 paise to Rs 68.48 per litre in Delhi.

The last cut was on June 3 when rates were reduced by Rs 2.02 per litre. The current profit is mainly on account of strengthening of rupee from Rs 55.58 to a US dollar average in the second half of August to Rs 54.12 last fortnight. Also, the price of international gasoline, against which the domestic retail prices are benchmarked, have eased from USD 126.11 per barrel to USD 122.31.

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