By Nidhi Verma
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's gasoil demand rose at a rapid pace during the first two weeks of June, preliminary data released on Wednesday showed, and long queues appeared at some fuel stations as concerns grew over supply.
State-controlled retailers sold 3.4 million tonnes of gasoil from June 1 to 14, up 47.8% from the same period a year earlier and 12% from the same period last month, the data showed. Sales of gasoline were 1.28 million tonnes, up 54.2% year-over-year.
The government on Wednesday played down concerns about fuel supply, saying unprecedented demand growth has created some temporary logistics issues in more remote places.
"The increase in demand has been on account of the seasonal surge in demand due to agricultural activities, (and) bulk buyers having shifted their purchases to retail outlets," the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas said in a statement.
State-run Indian Oil Corp, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and BPCL own about 90% of the country's retail fuel outlets.
"Oil Companies have geared up to tackle these issues by increasing the stocks at depots and terminals, extra movement of trucks to serve retail outlets and extending working hours of depots and terminals," the federal oil ministry said.
"The companies are ensuring that sufficient supplies of petrol and diesel are available to cater to this extra demand," the ministry said.
Below is a table of India's preliminary fuel sales data with volumes in thousand tonnes.
Product June %chg yr/yr % chg m/m
Gasoline 1281.9 54.2 0.8
Gasoil 3395.7 47.8 12
Jet Fuel 242.9 125.1 1.2
Liquefied 1064.8 4.21 2.9
(Writing by Sudarshan Varadhan; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)