sales continued to dip in August from a year ago as heavy rains and flooding in many parts of the country disrupted mobility, mining and farm activities but
barely managed to hold steady on record automobile despatches from
Preliminary industry data showed diesel demand falling 2.9% and
consumption nearly flat with a growth of 0.4% from the year-ago period. Sequentially, demand for diesel recorded a sharper drop at 3.7% but petrol sales rose 3.4% over July when fuel consumption had slipped near 10-month low.
Diesel is the largest-selling fuel and a key indicator of economic activities since it is used mostly by the transport, mining, construction and farm sectors.
executives described the continued of depressed sales as a seasonal phenomenon and nothing to worry about due to strong demand fundamentals.
“It is usual for fuel sales to decline during the monsoon months as rains/flooding hit mining and movement of goods, construction activities are paused and there is no demand from the farm sector for running irrigation pumps or other equipment. Extensive destruction of roads due to landslides and flooding in Himachal added to the fall in tourism-related demand,” one executive with a fuel retailing company said.
In contrast, jet fuel sales grew 9.5% compared to August 2022 but sequentially the growth was marginal at 1% over July.
Consumption of LPG, or liquefied petroleum gas, used mostly as household cooking fuel, grew at 4.4% from a year ago and sequentially posted a jump of 5.1% over July. This is attributed to increased cooking/snacking as rains restricted people indoors.