Feb oil product sales up 3.5%

Feb oil product sales up 3.5%

New Delhi: India’s local oil product sales in February rose an annual 3.5%, slower than the previous month, official data showed On Friday, but is likely to pick up next month as polls in some states are seen spurring demand.

Local oil product sales, a proxy for domestic oil demand in Asia’s third-largest oil consumer, rose to 11.66 million tonnes in February, slower than January’s annual rise of 6%.

India has revised down its annual growth rate in fuel demand for this fiscal year to 4.7% from 5.7% as a normal monsoon last year, after 2009’s drought, dampened diesel demand from agriculture, which uses it for water pumps to irrigate land.

India is expected to consume 144.35 million tonnes of refined products in this fiscal year compared with initial estimates of 146.08 million tonnes, the data showed.

Demand for petrol and diesel are expected to rise in April when vehicles and diesel-fuelled gensets would be used for election campaigning.

Diesel sales, which make up over a third of refined products consumption, rose an annual 5.7% — slower than the previous month’s 6.3% and year ago’s 8.6% growth.

Petrol sales growth slowed in February to an annual 6.9% versus 8.9% in January.

India’s crude imports declined an annual 2% to 10.45 million tonnes or about 2.74 million barrels per day (bpd) in February.

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

Diesel exports fell 0.6% last month, while petrol exports were down 27.9% from a year ago.

Oil products import rose 10.8% while exports fell 5.3% from a year ago.