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India fuel sales: Diesel sales fall in September, petrol consumption up


Diesel sales in India fell for the second straight month in September as rains dampened demand and slowed industrial activity in some parts of the country, preliminary data of state-owned firms showed. While diesel sales by three state-owned fuel retailers fell year-on-year in the first half of September, petrol sales were up marginally.

Consumption of diesel, the most consumed fuel in the country accounting for about two-fifths of the demand, fell 5.8 per cent to 2.72 million tonnes between September 1 and 15, compared to the year-ago period.

Consumption had fallen by a similar proportion in the first half of August.

Month-on-month sales were up 0.9 per cent, when compared with 2.7 million tonnes of diesel consumed in the first half of August.
Diesel sales typically fall in monsoon months as rains lower demand in the agriculture sector which uses the fuel for irrigation, harvesting and transportation. Also, rains slow vehicular movements. Consumption of diesel had soared 6.7 per cent and 9.3 per cent in April and May, respectively as agriculture demand picked up and cars yanked up air-conditioning to beat the summer heat. It started to taper in the second half of June after the monsoon set in. It fell in the first half of July but picked up in the second fortnight of that month. Petrol sales were up 1.2 per cent to 1.3 million tonnes in the first fortnight of September, when compared with the same period last year. Consumption had dropped 10.5 per cent in the first fortnight of July but picked up in the latter half. It had fallen by 8 per cent in the first half of August.

Sales in the first half of September were up 8.8 per cent month-on-month, the data showed.

India’s economy has demonstrated remarkable resilience and is likely to have surpassed the performance of most major economies during the first half of 2023. This is helping fuel demand grow.

Consumption of petrol during September 1-15 was 29.2 per cent more than in the COVID-marred first half of September 2021 and 20.8 per cent more than in pre-pandemic September 2019.

Diesel consumption was up 26 per cent over September 1-15, 2021 and 36.4 per cent when compared with September 1-15, 2019.

With the continuing rise in passenger traffic at airports, jet fuel (ATF) demand rose 6.8 per cent to 2,92,500 tonnes during the first fortnight of September as compared to the same period last year.

It was 53.9 per cent more than in September 2021, but 5 per cent lower than pre-COVID September 2019.

Month-on-month jet fuel sales fell 1.8 per cent when compared with 2,98,000 tonnes in August 1-15, 2023.

Cooking gas LPG sales were up 10.2 per cent year-on-year to 1.36 million tonnes in September 1-15. LPG consumption was 15.5 per cent higher than in September 1-15, 2021 and 35 per cent more than pre-COVID September 1-15, 2019.

Month-on-month, LPG demand soared 12 per cent compared to 1.21 million tonnes of LPG consumption during August 1-15, the data showed.


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