A steep increase of 25%-30% in arrival of fruits and vegetables during December has led to a 2.5% increase in truck rentals, while cargo offerings from manufacturing remained stable and import-export cargo continue to be negative, said a report of Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training.
The year 2015 ended with buoyant note for truckers and vehicle manufacturers as truck rentals went up by 2%-2.5% backed by quantum surge of 25%-30% in availability of cargo from seasonal fruits and vegetables along with increased arrival of agri-based cargo in wholesale markets.
At the end of the month, OMCs reduced the diesel price by Rs 1.06/litre, which was far short of expected cut by Rs 3.5 to Rs 4/litre as international crude oil has on an average been lower to $36/bbl and this was nothing but abuse of diesel price decontrol introduced in October 2014, and the central government queered the pitch by its opportunistic stance to increase the excise duty by Rs 2/litre on January 2, 2016 on the plea that it has to shore up its finances.
According to the report, such behaviour of OMCs in tandem with increase in excise duty by the finance ministry only smacks of anti-consumer behaviour and not allowing the truck rentals to align with the market realities. However, in the last 3 to 4 months tyre prices for various categories particularly truck and bus have dropped by around 10% and have benefitted the fleet owners.
The diesel and tyre constitute 90% of the variable operating cost of truck operation and the true reflection of drop in crude oil price in domestic diesel price would have ushered in a very positive new year for road transporters with further drop in vehicle/asset owning cost, the report added.