New Delhi: India’s April domestic oil product sales climbed for the first time in four months, rising an annual 3.8% as robust demand for automobiles drove up the consumption of fuels, official data showed on Monday.
Total domestic sales, a proxy for oil demand in Asia’s third-largest oil consumer, were 12.13 million tonnes last month April, the data showed.
In its latest monthly report, the International Energy Agency had trimmed its earlier forecast for global demand growth by 50,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.62 million bpd.
Annual diesel sales in April rose 13.5% on higher demand from farm sector where pump-sets were used for irrigation as hot weather conditions led to early harvesting, and increased use of gasoil-generated electricity.
Domestic diesel sales, which account for about a third of total refined products consumption in the country, in April stood at 5.38 million tonnes.
Petrol sales increased 9.8% from the year earlier to 1.12 million tonnes as April car sales posted their strongest growth in at least a decade, jumping an annual 39.5%
Crude oil imports rose 6.6% in April from a year earlier to 2.87 million bpd.
The data does not include imports and exports by Reliance Industries’ 580,000 bpd export-focused refinery at Jamnagar, in Gujarat.
Higher availability of natural gas from Reliance’s Krishna Godavari field, which has been pumping since April 2009, reduced demand and imports of naphtha.
Local sales of naphtha fell 21.6% in April and overall oil product imports dropped 47.7% from a year earlier.
Naphtha exports fell 48.5% as the largest state-run refiner, Indian Oil Corp, commissioned its naphtha cracker in end-March.
Overall fuel exports fell 49% in April from a year ago.