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India’s Oil Demand Growth Cools Even as Motor Fuel Use Expands

India’s oil demand growth slowed as gains in gasoline and diesel fuel were offset by a decline in bitumen and petroleum coke consumption.

The South Asian nation consumed 16.54 million tons of hydrocarbon fuels in June, 0.4 percent more than a year ago, according to the Oil Ministry’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell. Diesel demand expanded 6.5 percent to 6.8 million tons. The fuel accounts for about 40 percent of total oil products sales in the country.

“Continued strong underlying economic growth has led to increased gasoline and diesel demand,” said Tushar Tarun Bansal, director at Ivy Global Energy. The fall in consumption of bitumen and petroleum coke limited the country’s oil demand growth, he added.

Rising car and scooter use spurred by rapid economic expansion and higher income levels has made India a bright spot for global oil demand. The country imports more than 80 percent of its crude requirement and the International Energy Agency expects it to be the fastest-growing consumer through 2040.

Gasoline demand rose 12 percent to 2.1 million tons while the consumption of LPG increased 16 percent to 1.9 million tons. The country’s oil demand in May rose 5.4 percent to 17.79 million tons.

Additional consumption data for June:

Petcoke consumption fell 19 percent to 1.89 million tons
Naphtha usage decline 4.3 percent to 1.1 million tons
Bitumen demand fell 5.3 percent to 483,000 tons
Source: Bloomberg

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