New Delhi: India’s oil product sales in October rose an annual 3.8% due to higher demand for fuels in the festival season, the government data showed on Friday.
Oil product sales, a proxy for oil demand in Asia’s third-largest oil consumer, totalled 12.05 million tonnes in October.
Growth in fuel consumption in October was slower than September, when local sale surged an annual 6.1% on low base of the previous year as floods in parts of the country slackened demand.
Growth in diesel sales, which make up over a third of refined products consumption, rose an annual 7.9% in October mainly due to higher sales of diesel-driven cars and demand from the power sector.
Gasoil prices in India are fixed by the government at a cheaper rate to protect the poor and control inflation. But gasoline is sold at market rate, widening the gap between the prices of the two fuels.
Gasoline consumption last month grew an annual 5.4%, slower than the previous month due to falling car sales during the month.
India may use around 5.2% more diesel in 2011 and about the same in 2012, a Reuters survey shows, a little more than half the rate of expected economic growth.
India’s industrial output in September grew at its slowest pace in two years, providing further evidence of deceleration in the economy and raising the odds of a pause in the Reserve Bank of India’s 20-month-long policy tightening cycle.
Last year’s data for some products have been revised by the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell of the oil ministry.
India’s crude imports last month declined an annual 3.2% to 2.97 million barrels per day versus a rise of nearly 5.6% in September.
The data for August includes estimated imports and exports for Reliance Industries’ export-focused 580,000 bpd refinery at Jamnagar in western India.
Diesel exports rose 2.7% in October while gasoline exports declined nearly 11% from a year ago.
Oil products imports declined about 14.8%, while exports fell 7.5% from a year ago.