Domestic fuel sales down 1.9% in September

Domestic fuel sales down 1.9% in September

New Delhi: India’s domestic oil product sales fell an annual 1.9% in September, its second straight monthly decline, as floods in some parts of the country slackened demand for diesel, government data showed on Friday.

Oil product sales, a proxy for oil demand in Asia’s third-largest oil consumer, totalled 10.66 million tonnes in September, when the annual growth in diesel consumption softened to 1.7% as fewer power outages and extended monsoon rainfall cut demand for the fuel from farm and industry.

In September 2009, local diesel sales grew 4.7% on a high base of year ago when industrial users substituted fuel oil with subsidised diesel.

Petrol sales rose an annual 8.6% in September due to a 30% jump in car sales in the month.

The Indian government estimates domestic oil product demand to rise 5.7% in the current fiscal year.

India’s crude imports declined an annual 21.9% to 10.94 million tonnes or about 2.67 million barrels per day in September when Indian refiners processed 10.2% less oil versus a year ago.

The sales data for September does not include estimated imports and exports for Reliance Industries’ export-focused 580,000 bpd refinery at Jamnagar, in western India.

Diesel exports fell 77.6% in September, while petrol exports were down 47.1%. Oil products import rose 17.7% last month from a year ago.