Indian state retailers’ gasoline and diesel sales fell in the first half of August from the previous month and a year ago, preliminary sales data showed on Wednesday, as industrial activity and mobility were hit due to monsoon rains.
Fuel demand in India, the world’s third-biggest oil importer and consumer, typically falls during the four-month monsoon season beginning in June as parts of the country are affected by heavy floods.
State retailers sold 1.19 million metric tons of gasoline in the first half of August, down 5.2 per cent from the same period in July and by 8 per cent from a year earlier, the data showed. Gasoline, also called petrol, is primarily used in passenger vehicles.
Sales of diesel, mainly used by trucks and other commercial vehicles, dipped by 9.5 per cent from the previous month and 5.7 per cent from a year ago to about 2.68 million tons in the first half of August, the data showed.
Monsoon rains also hit demand from the agriculture sector as farmers use gasoil-fired generators for irrigation. Diesel sales of state fuel retailers were also affected due to marginally lower prices of the fuel at outlets of private refiners.
Gasoil accounts for about two-fifths of India’s overall refined fuel consumption and is directly linked to industrial activity in Asia’s third-largest economy.
State retailers Indian Oil Corp, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum own about 90 per cent of the country’s retail fuel outlets.