Reliance Industries, India’s most valuable company, has seen its fuel sales in January drop by a tenth while, at the same time, the public sector oil companies recorded robust growth.
RIL fuel sales dipped 10.3% in January to 1.256 million tonnes (mt) compared with 1.399mt a year ago on massive drop in diesel and petrol sales, according to the latest data available with the Union ministry for petroleum and natural gas.
The company, which sells auto fuels at a price higher than that sold by the public sector oil marketing companies and is not entitled to government compensation, posted a 44.9% drop in diesel sales to 208,400 tonnes and a 12.7% reduction in petrol sales to 40,300 tonnes.
In April-January, RIL saw a 5.4% dip in sales to 11.22mt as diesel sales dropped 41.9% to 1.62mt.
State-run oil companies such as Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) are entitled to compensation from the government in the form of oil bonds for selling petrol and diesel below their cost of production.
Private retailers such as Reliance and Essar are not party to the government’s compensation mechanism.
IOC posted a 10.9% rise in sales to 4.46mt in January and 4.4% to 41.43mt in April-January. The company saw a 15% growth in diesel sales to 1.68mt while those of petrol increased 9.3% to 265,100 tonnes.
BPCL also registered an impressive 9.7% sales growth in January to 2.07mt and by 7.3% in April-January to 19.2mt. HPCL recorded 8.5% sales growth in January to 1.71mt and 7% in April-January to 16.26mt.