Sales of diesel for state-run oil companies, however, fell 3% year-on-year in September though sales of petrol rose 5.4%. Last year, private retailers cut their pump sales after public sector oil companies started selling fuel at below-market prices.
Now private players are boosting retail sales and regaining lost market share, which is showing up in a decline in diesel sales for state companies.
The government releases sales data for the entire industry, including private retailers, by the 10th of every month, which gives a more accurate picture of monthly fuel demand.
State companies’ jet fuel sales rose 7.5% year-on-year but fell 0.4% sequentially, showing a substantial increase in air traffic from a year ago. Cooking gas consumption rose 6% year-on-year and expanded 7.3% sequentially.
Consumption of diesel typically declines in the monsoon months as rains affect demand in the agriculture sector, which uses the fuel for irrigation, harvesting and transportation. Also, rains slow vehicular movements.