India’s diesel sales rise as economic activity picks up

NEW DELHI: State fuel retailers’ diesel sales rose 7.4% to 2.84 million tonnes in the first fortnight of March from a year earlier, preliminary industry data showed on Tuesday.
Petrol sales rose 5.3% to 1.05 million tonnes in the same period from a year earlier, the data showed.
This is the first annual rise in gasoil sales in the country since October. Fuel sales in India took a hit in March last year as the government imposed a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The economy returned to growth in the three months to December and the recovery is expected to gather pace as consumers and investors shake off the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The rise in gasoil sales, which account for about two-fifths of the country’s overall fuel demand, comes despite record-high local retail prices and points to rising industrial production in the country.
State companies Indian Oil Corp, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Bharat Petroleum own about 90% of the retail fuel outlets.
State retailers sold 3.3% less cooking gas in the first half of March than a year ago to 1.01 million tonnes as a significant reduction in subsidies curtailed demand for the fuel, the data showed.
Jet fuel sales were down 36.5% to 204,000 tonnes.

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