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India’s Sept diesel sales remain below pre-COVID levels

India’s gasoil consumption slowed in the first half of September from the previous month, staying below pre-COVID levels as a pick-up in monsoon rains hit mobility and demand for fuel from the agriculture sector, preliminary sales data showed.

Diesel sales by the country’s state fuel retailers came in at 2.1 million tonnes during Sept. 1-15, a decline of about 1.5% from last year and down 6.8% from the same period in 2019, the data showed.

State retailers Indian Oil Corp IOC.NS, Hindustan Petroleum Corp HPCL.NS and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd BPCL.NS own about 90% of the country’s retail fuel outlets.

Sales of gasoil, which accounts for about two-fifths of India’s overall refined fuel consumption, are directly linked to industrial activity in Asia’s third-largest economy.

India’s monsoon rains revived this month after a patchy spell in August. Local gasoil sales during Sept. 1-15 was down by about 0.9% from the same period in August, the data showed.

Improved electricity supplies also contributed to a decline in demand for diesel.

In contrast, gasoline sales stayed above the pre-COVID levels at 1.02 million tonnes as people continued to prefer using personal vehicles over public transport and shared mobility for safety reasons.

India has not yet fully opened its public transport sector, which mostly use diesel.

September gasoline sales were up 8.3% from the same period in 2019 and rose by 3.4% from August, the data showed.

Below is a table of India’ preliminary fuel sales data with volumes in thousand tonnes.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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