Indian Oil posts first loss in over 2 years as marketing margins fall

·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: An Indian Oil tanker driver waits outside a fuel depot in Mumbai

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian Oil Corp Ltd on Friday reported a quarterly net loss for the first time in more than two years, as the country's top refiner sold fuel at a discount in the domestic market while its costs jumped.

Indian fuel retailers such as IOC, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Bharat Petroleum Corp have not revised pump prices for months to insulate consumers from the global crude price surge, helping the government's efforts to mitigate the impact of inflation.

State refiners have had to step up domestic sales of fuel and have suffered marketing losses despite buying cheaper Russian crude as private refiners reduced their share to focus on exports due to higher margins.

State-owned Indian Oil's net loss was 19.93 billion Indian rupees ($251.34 million) for the quarter ended June 30 compared with a profit of 59.41 billion rupees a year earlier.

Revenue from operations surged about 63% to 2.52 trillion rupees, while expenses jumped about 73% to 2.55 trillion rupees.

The company said its gross refining margin (GRM), or profit from converting a barrel of oil into refined products, was $31.81 per barrel in the three months to June, compared with $6.58 per barrel a year earlier.

Indian refiners' crude processing remained resilient in June, holding above pre-pandemic levels amid steady demand, while production eased with the increased availability of cheaper Russian crude.

IOC said it sold 24.6 million tonnes of petroleum products, including exports, while its refining throughput was 18.9 million tonnes during the quarter.

Indian Oil, along with its unit Chennai Petroleum, controls about a third of India's five million-barrels-per-day refining capacity.

($1 = 79.2960 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru and Nidhi Verma in New Delhi; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

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