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Updated January 1st, 2024 at 18:04 IST

Fuel sales dropped in December amid a seasonal shift

The transition into winter resulted in reduced air-conditioning demand, impacting fuel sales.

A petrol pump machine
Petrol pump machine | Image:Unsplash
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Preliminary data from state-owned firms revealed a decline in petrol and diesel sales during December, attributed to the onset of winter, which typically curtails demand. Petrol sales from the three major state-owned firms, commanding 90 per cent of the fuel market, recorded a 1.4 per cent drop to 2.72 million metric tonnes compared to the same period in 2022, while diesel demand witnessed a steeper decline of 7.8 per cent to 6.73 million metric tonnes.


The North's transition into winter resulted in reduced air-conditioning demand, impacting fuel sales. On a monthly comparison, petrol sales plunged by 4.9 per cent from November's 2.86 million metric tonnes, while diesel demand also decreased by 0.8 per cent from November's 6.79 million metric tonnes.

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Diesel remains the nation's predominant fuel, constituting nearly 40 per cent of all petroleum product consumption, with the transport sector responsible for 70 per cent of diesel sales nationwide. The country's fuel consumption has displayed fluctuations over recent months, with October witnessing an upsurge in both petrol and diesel demand, followed by a 7.5 per cent decline in diesel consumption the subsequent month.


Comparatively, December 2023 petrol consumption exhibited a 7.1 per cent increase from the pandemic-affected December 2021 and a significant 21.5 per cent surge from pre-pandemic levels in December 2019. Diesel usage also depicted growth, marking a 4.3 per cent rise from December 2021 and a 2.7 per cent increase from December 2019.

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Jet fuel (ATF) sales observed a 3.8 per cent year-on-year increase to 644,900 metric tonnes in December. However, this figure remained 6.5 per cent lower than the December 2019 levels due to limited international flight operations post-pandemic. While December 2021 saw a 25.5 per cent surge in ATF consumption, it still fell short of the pre-COVID levels of December 2019.


Cooking gas LPG sales remained relatively unchanged year-on-year at 2.73 million metric tonnes in December, despite an 8.1 per cent increase from December 2021 and a substantial 16.4 per cent rise from December 2019. Month-on-month, LPG demand surged by 6.2 per cent compared to November's 2.57 million metric tonnes, as indicated by the data.

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(with PTI inputs)

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Published January 1st, 2024 at 18:04 IST

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