New Delhi: Petrol and diesel sales in India slumped in December as winter tapered demand, preliminary data of state-owned firms showed on Monday, January 1.
Petrol sales of the three state-owned firms, which control 90 percent of the fuel market, fell 1.4 percent to 2.72 million metric tons in December 2023 when compared to the year-ago period, while diesel demand dropped 7.8 percent to 6.73 million metric tons.
The onset of the winter season in northern India led to a tapering of air-conditioning demand.
Month-on-month petrol sales dropped 4.9 percent when compared to 2.86 million metric tons of consumption in November. Diesel demand, too, was down 0.8 percent month-on-month when compared to 6.79 million metric tons in November.
Diesel is India’s most consumed fuel, accounting for almost 40 percent of all petroleum product consumption. The transport sector accounts for 70 percent of all diesel sales in the country.
Fuel consumption has been on the rise over the last couple of months.
Demand for both petrol and diesel had risen in October, but diesel consumption fell 7.5 percent in the following month.
Consumption of petrol during December 2023 was 7.1 percent more than in COVID-marred December 2021 and 21.5 percent more than in pre-pandemic December 2019.
Diesel consumption was up 4.3 percent over December 2021 and 2.7 percent compared to December 2019.
Jet fuel (ATF) sales rose 3.8 percent year-on-year to 644,900 metric tons in December. But this was 6.5 percent lower than in December 2019, primarily because not all international flights have resumed after the pandemic.
ATF consumption was 25.5 percent more than in December 2021, but lower than the 628,400 metric tons used in pre-COVID December 2019.
Month-on-month jet fuel sales were 2.6 percent higher than 628,400 metric tons in November 2023.
Cooking gas LPG sales were almost flat year-on-year at 2.73 million metric tons in December. LPG consumption was 8.1 percent higher than in December 2021 and 16.4 percent more than in pre-COVID December 2019.
Month-on-month, LPG demand rose 6.2 percent against 2.57 million metric tons of LPG consumption during November, the data showed.