Diesel constitutes about two-fifths of the country's fuel demand | Image Credit: Unsplash
Diesel sales in India have fallen for the second consecutive month in September, primarily due to reduced demand caused by rains and a slowdown in industrial activity in certain regions of the country, according to data from state-owned companies.
While diesel sales by three state-owned fuel retailers have declined year-on-year (YoY) in the first half of September, petrol sales have shown a marginal increase.
Diesel, which constitutes approximately two-fifths of the country's fuel demand, saw a 5.8 per cent decrease in consumption to 2.72 million tonnes between September 1 and 15, compared to the same period last year. Similar declines were observed in the first half of August. However, month-on-month sales in September have increased by 0.9 per cent, compared to the first half of August when 2.7 million tonnes of diesel were consumed.
Diesel sales typically decline during the monsoon months as rain reduces demand in the agriculture sector, which relies on fuel for activities like irrigation, harvesting, and transportation. Additionally, rainy weather slows down vehicular movement.
On the other hand, petrol sales have shown a 1.2 per cent increase, reaching 1.3 million tonnes in the first half of September, compared to the same period last year. Although consumption had dropped by 10.5 per cent in the first half of July, it rebounded in the latter half of the month. In the first half of August, petrol sales had fallen by 8 per cent.
During September 1-15, petrol consumption was 29.2 per cent higher than in the same period in 2021 and 20.8 per cent higher than in September 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Diesel consumption during the same period was up by 26 percent compared to September 1-15, 2021, and 36.4 percent higher than in September 1-15, 2019.
The demand for aviation turbine fuel (ATF) increased by 6.8 per cent to 2,92,500 tonnes during the first half of September compared to the same period last year. It was also significantly higher (53.9 per cent) than in September 2021 but 5 per cent lower than the pre-COVID September 2019 levels. However, month-on-month, jet fuel sales declined by 1.8 per cent compared to August 1-15, 2023.
Cooking gas LPG sales saw a 10.2 per cent year-on-year increase, reaching 1.36 million tonnes on September 1-15. LPG consumption was 15.5 per cent higher than on September 1-15, 2021, and 35 per cent more than the pre-COVID levels of September 1-15, 2019. Month-on-month, LPG demand surged by 12 per cent compared to August 1-15.
(With PTI Inputs)