Wheat harvesting and arrival of summer fruits and vegetables have provided enough cushion to truckers to keep their rentals flat on main routes.
Wheat harvesting and arrival of summer fruits and vegetables have provided enough cushion to truckers to keep their rentals flat on main routes across the country despite a fall of R2.56 a litre in diesel prices in April. Moreover, cargo offerings from factory output also sustained the freight charges, said Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training (IFTRT), the apex agency that tracks the industry.
The diesel price cut by R1.27 a litre on April 1 followed by a price cut of R1.29 per litre in mid- April softened the operating cost burden on truckers but the beginning of wheat harvesting season, though belated, and arrival of summer fruits and vegetables across the APMCs in the country have helped the truck rentals to remain somewhat flat during first month of the current fiscal.
Besides, the cargo offerings from factory output, too, were on positive note, leading to additional support to truckers on trunk routes in most parts of the country.
However, unseasonal rains in the first week of April 15 will have overall negative impact on the summer season due to expected lower arrivals for fruits/vegetables in next 8-10 weeks and the employment to truckers from wheat harvesting states is also going to be lower by next month-end as wheat procurement agencies expect almost 10%-15% lower procurement in comparison to the same period last year.
The diesel price was cut by OMCs last month as stated above, however, on May 1 the fuel price has been hiked by R2.37/litre on the back of increase in international brent crude oil price.
It seems that the fuel price shall continue to rise in the next couple of months as well. However, any continuous increase in diesel price by OMCs in next 2-3 months may force the central government to reduce the excise duty on diesel, which has been hiked since October 2014.