Diesel sales fall 5% in November after reaching pre-COVID levels in Oct

Sale of diesel, the most used fuel in the country, was, however, 7% higher month-on-month

India’s diesel sales fell 5% in the first half of November when compared with the previous year, industry data showed on Monday, after rising for the first time in eight months in October.

Sale of diesel, the most used fuel in the country, was, however, 7% higher month-on-month.

Between November 1 and 15, diesel consumption was 2.86 million tonnes, down from 3.01 million tonnes in the same period a year back. It was, however, higher than the 2.65 million tonnes demand during the first half of October.

Petrol sales rose marginally to 1.03 million tonnes from 1.02 million tonnes, while cooking gas (LPG) sales for the first time this year fell by 2% to 1.07 million tonnes.

Aviation turbine fuel (ATF) sales fell 53% year-on-year to 155,000 tonnes but were 1.3% higher month-on-month.

The total demand for petroleum products rose 2.5% in October to reach 17.77 million tonnes. While petrol had reached pre-COVID levels in September itself, diesel consumption had returned to normal last month.

Diesel demand spurted 7.4% year-on-year to 6.5 million tonnes while petrol sales were up 4.5% at 2.54 million tonnes.

The growth in diesel consumption was the highest in a year.

Industry sources said month-on-month diesel sales has risen in November, which is a good sign.

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

The 69-day nationwide lockdown was followed by local and state-level restrictions. Restrictions have eased only slowly and in phases, and localized restrictions in containment zones remain.

The onset of the festive season has fueled a rise in consumption but public transport is not back to normal levels yet as schools and educational institutions continue to remain shut in most parts of the country.

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