India's gasoil demand dips in first half of November - data

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FILE PHOTO: Oil tankers are seen parked at a yard outside a fuel depot on the outskirts of Kolkata

By Nidhi Verma

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's gasoil demand contracted by about a fifth during the first fifteen days of November from the pre-COVID levels, after a festive season led brief recovery last month, preliminary sales data of state-run refiners showed.

India's gasoil consumption, which accounts for about two-fifths of the country's fuel demand, typically rises during a month-long festival season that ended earlier this month with the celebration of Diwali as diesel-guzzling trucks hit the road and industrial activity gathers pace.

Gasoil consumption totalled 2.43 million tonnes between Nov. 1-15, a decline of about 15.3% from last year and down 19.35% from the same period in 2019, the data showed.

In contrast, gasoline sales continued to stay above pre-COVID levels, rising to 1.04 million tonnes, as people continued to prefer using personal vehicles over public transport for safety reasons.

Gasoline sales in the first half of November were up 1.2% from the same period in 2019 and rose by 0.5% from last year, the data showed.

State retailers - Indian Oil Corp, Bharat Petroleum Corp and Hindustan Petroleum Corp - control about 90% of the fuel stations in the country.

(Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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