India's November diesel sales declined 7%

Slump hints at fragile recovery, following growth in October

India’s diesel sales fell 7% year-on-year in November after rising for the first time in eight months in October, industry data showed on Tuesday. Sale of diesel, the most-used fuel in the country, was, however, 8% higher than in October.

Diesel consumption in November was 6.23 million tonnes, having fallen from 6.7 million tonnes a year earlier. It was, however, higher than the 5.7-million tonne demand during October.

The fall in consumption in November, after diesel sales had reached pre-COVID levels in September, showed the recovery was fragile, an industry official said.

Petrol sales rose to 2.4 million tonnes, from 2.28 million tonnes, while cooking gas (LPG) sales climbed 4.5% to 2.36 million tonnes.

ATF rises from Oct.

Aviation turbine fuel sales fell 48% year-on-year to 3,46,000 tonnes, but were 6.3% higher over October.

Total demand for petroleum products rose 2.5% in October to 17.77 million tonnes. While petrol had reached pre-COVID levels in September, diesel consumption had returned to normal only in October.

Diesel demand had spurted 7.4% year-on-year in October, while petrol sales rose 4.5% to 2.54 million tonnes.

The growth in diesel consumption was the highest in a year. Industry sources said month-on-month diesel sales have risen in November, which was a good sign.

Fuel demand had slumped 49% in April after a nationwide lockdown, imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19, shut industries and took most vehicles off the roads.

The festive season had fuelled a rise in consumption, but public transport has not returned to normal as educational institutions remain shut in most parts.

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