Diesel sales recover after Diwali drop but still lower than last year


India’s diesel consumption in the first half of December recovered from the steep fall seen last month on transporters taking a Diwali break, but sales were still lower than last year, preliminary data of state-owned firms showed.


Diesel consumption at 3.15 million tonne during December 1 to 15 was 0.7 per cent higher than 3.13 million tonne demand in the first half of November. The demand was 8.1 per cent lower than 3.43 million tonne consumption in December 1-15, 2022.


Industry officials said the November dip in sales was largely on account of some truckers taking Diwali break to visit their homes.


Diesel is India’s most consumed fuel, accounting for almost 40 per cent of all petroleum product consumption. The transport sector accounts for 70 per cent of all diesel sales in the country.


Petrol sales by three state-owned fuel retailers rose 0.7 per cent to 1.22 million tonne in the first fortnight of December on increased personal vehicle movement.


Fuel consumption has been on a see-saw over the last couple of months.


Petrol demand had fallen 9 per cent year-on-year in the first half of October and diesel sales by 3.2 per cent but the start of Navratri/Durga Puja celebration helped reverse the trend. Diesel demand fell 12.1 per cent in the first half of November and recovered a bit in the second half.


Consumption of petrol during December 1 to 15 was 9.5 per cent more than in the Covid-marred December 1-15, 2021 and 27.5 per cent more than in pre-pandemic December 2019.


Diesel demand was up 9.5 per cent over the first fortnight of December 2021 and 8 per cent higher compared to December 1-15, 2019.


Jet fuel (ATF) sales rose 2.6 per cent year-on-year to 309,500 tonne in December 1-15 this year. But this was 8.6 per cent lower than in December 2019, primarily because not all international flights have resumed after the pandemic.


ATF consumption was 22.8 per cent more than in December 2021, but lower than 338,890 tonne used in pre-Covid December 2019.


Month-on-month jet fuel sales were down 0.4 per cent compared to 310,900 tonne in first fortnight of November 2023.


Cooking gas LPG sales were up 2.3 per cent year-on-year at 1.35 million tonne in December 1-15. LPG consumption was 8.6 per cent higher than in December 1-15, 2021 and 26 per cent more than in pre-Covid December 2019.


Month-on-month, LPG demand rose 7.3 per cent against 1.25 million tonne of LPG consumption during November 1-15, the data showed.

First Published: Dec 17 2023 | 12:20 PM IST

India’s diesel consumption in the first half of December showed signs of recovery compared to the previous month, but it remained lower than the same period last year, according to preliminary data from state-owned firms. Diesel consumption reached 3.15 million tonnes from December 1 to 15, a 0.7% increase compared to the first half of November. However, it was still 8.1% lower than the consumption of 3.43 million tonnes during the same period in 2022. The decline in sales in November was attributed to truckers taking a break for the Diwali festival. Diesel is the most consumed fuel in India, accounting for nearly 40% of all petroleum product consumption, with the transport sector representing 70% of diesel sales. On the other hand, petrol sales by state-owned fuel retailers increased by 0.7% to 1.22 million tonnes in the first half of December due to increased movement of personal vehicles. Overall, fuel consumption in India has been fluctuating in recent months. While petrol demand had declined in October, the start of Navratri/Durga Puja celebrations helped reverse the trend. Diesel demand also experienced fluctuations, falling in the first half of November but recovering slightly in the second half. In terms of aviation fuel (ATF), sales rose by 2.6% year-on-year in December 1-15, but were still lower compared to the same period in 2019 due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic on international flights. Cooking gas (LPG) sales increased by 2.3% year-on-year in the first half of December, surpassing the consumption levels from the same period in 2021 and 2019.,

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