Diesel Sales Drop 4% In First Half Of June

Diesel is India's most consumed fuel, accounting for almost 40% of all petroleum product consumption.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>(Photo by Engin Akyurt)</p></div>
(Photo by Engin Akyurt)

The diesel demand fell in June as heatwave conditions in parts of the country curtailed travel, according to preliminary data of state-owned firms showed on Monday.

Fuel sales, which traditionally surge during polls, have defied the trend this year, falling month after month. The decline has now extended even after the end of the general elections.

Petrol sales of three state-owned firms, which control 90% of the fuel market, at 1.42 million tonnes in the first half of June was almost the same as 1.41 MT of fuel consumed in the same period last year. Month-on-month, the consumption dropped 4.6%.

Diesel sales dropped 3.9% to 3.95 MT during June 1–15 when compared with the year-ago period. The demand for the nation's most consumed fuel had fallen 2.3% in April and 2.7% in March. In May, it fell 1.1%.

Besides electioneering, the harvest season and the scorching summer that increases the demand for air conditioning in cars, should have led to a rise in fuel consumption. However, this year has defied the trend.

Petrol and diesel prices were reduced by Rs 2 per litre in mid-March, ending a nearly two-year-long hiatus in rate revision, which should have also propelled sales.

Month-on-month, petrol sales fell 3.6% compared to 1.47 MT of consumption during May 1–15. Diesel demand was flat month-on-month against 3.54 MT in the first half of May.

Diesel is India's most consumed fuel, accounting for almost 40% of all petroleum product consumption. The transport sector accounts for 70% of all diesel sales in the country. It is also the predominant fuel used in agriculture sectors, including in harvesters and tractors.

Consumption of petrol during June 1–15 was 4.6% lower than in the first fortnight of June 2022, and 28.1% more than in the Covid-marred same period of 2020. Diesel demand slumped 10.5% over June 1–15, 2022, and 14% higher compared to June 1–15, 2020.

Jet fuel sales rose 2.3% year-on-year to 3.31 lakh tonnes during June 1–15, 2024. But this was 4.5% lower month-on-month when compared to 3.47 lakh tonnes in May 1–15, the data showed.

Like petrol and diesel, demand for aviation turbine fuel, too, is now firmly above pre-Covid levels.

The ATF consumption was 10.1% more than during June 1–15, 2022, and 6.1% more than in June 1–15, 2020, as per the data.

Cooking gas sales were up 0.1% year-on-year to 1.24 MT during June 1–15, 2024. LPG consumption dropped 0.9% as compared to June 1–15, 2022 and was 32% more than June 1–15, 2020.

Month-on-month, LPG demand fell 5.2% against 1.3 MT consumption during May 1–15, the data added.

(Text inputs from PTI)

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