India’s fuel demand slipped in January after hitting a
nine-month peak in December, hit by lower mobility due to cold weather in parts
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of the country and a slowdown in industrial activity.
Consumption of fuel, a proxy for oil demand, was about 4.6% lower than the
previous month at 18.7 million tonnes in January, data from Indian oil
ministry’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) showed on Wednesday.
Sales of diesel fell 7.6% in January from a month ago to 7.18 million
tonnes, while sales of gasoline, or petrol, fell 5.3% to 2.82 million tonnes,
the PPAC data showed.
“Festive season is over, and cold temperatures might have played a role,”
said Refinitiv analyst Ehsan Ul Haq.
India’s manufacturing industry started the year on a weaker note, expanding
at its slowest pace in three months in January as output and sales growth
slackened, a private survey showed.
On a yearly basis, however, fuel consumption was up 3.3%. Sales of diesel
rose 12.6%, while sales of petrol jumped 14.2%.
“Car sales remain strong… on the whole, Indian oil demand remains on the
right track and will incentivise refiners to keep refinery runs high,” Haq said.
Passenger vehicle (PV) sales jumped 22% year-on-year to 3,40,220 units in
January, while it grew 8% from pre-COVID 2020 levels, helped by healthy bookings
and improved supplies, data from the Federation of Automobile Dealers
With an investment boom India is enroute to become world’s fastest-growing
economy in 2023, likely to spark sharp increases in industrial activity, while
the central bank puts inflation relief measures in place.
Cooking gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sales decreased 2.1% year on
year to 2.51 million, while naphtha sales dipped 14.4% to 1.23 million tonnes.
Sales of bitumen, used for making roads, fell about 20%, while fuel oil use
jumped 9.1% last month.
DOMESTIC SALES (in million tonnes):
2023 2022 2022 2022 2021 2021
January December November January December November
Diesel 7.18 7.78 7.76 6.37 7.3 6.51
Petrol 2.82 2.98 2.86 2.47 2.82 2.65
LPG 2.51 2.58 2.47 2.57 2.48 2.35
Naphtha 1.23 1.11 1.01 1.44 1.1 1.23
Jet fuel 0.67 0.66 0.62 0.46 0.55 0.5
Kerosene 0.03 0.04 0.04 0.13 0.12 0.12
Fuel Oil 0.6 0.62 0.55 0.55 0.57 0.51
Bitumen 0.66 0.66 0.72 0.83 0.78 0.55
TOTAL 18.7 19.60 18.84 18.09 19.01 17.10
NOTE: Total figures may not tally because not all items are included in the
table, and numbers are rounded. The numbers for previous months may have been
(Reporting by Harshit Verma, Rahul Paswan, Brijesh Patel and Arpan Varghese in
Bengaluru, Editing by Louise Heavens)