India's October fuel demand rises on festive season boost

FILE PHOTO: A worker holds a nozzle to pump petrol into a vehicle at a fuel station in Mumbai

(Reuters) -India's fuel consumption, a proxy for oil demand, rose to its highest in four months in the festival month of October, data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) of the oil ministry showed on Monday.

Consumption in October was 6.7% higher than the previous month, while also up 3.4% year-on-year at 18.37 million tonnes, the data showed.

The data indicates that "the negative impact of the monsoon season is now coming to an end," Refinitiv analyst Ehsan Ul Haq said.

"I expect fuel demand to grow significantly, as car sales have picked up. With several refineries coming back from maintenance, crude runs will also increase," Ul Haq added. "On the whole, a positive outlook and the best is yet to come."

India celebrated the major festivals of Dussehra and Diwali last month, buying everything from cars, houses and television sets to travel and jewellery, according to early data, giving a fillip to growth prospects despite economic gloom elsewhere in the world.

Indian state fuel retailers' diesel sales also surged in October from the previous month, preliminary sales data showed last week, indicating a pickup in industrial activity.

Sales of gasoline, or petrol, were up 8.8% from 2021 at 2.99 million tonnes, while diesel rose 5.5% at 6.98 million tonnes, the PPAC showed.

Cooking gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sales decreased 3.3% to 2.40 million tonnes, while naphtha sales fell 24% to 0.96 million tonnes.

Sales of bitumen, used for making roads, were 11.4% lower, while fuel oil use edged up 1% in October.

DOMESTIC SALES (in million tonnes):

2022 2021

2022 2022 2021

2021

August August

October

September October September

Diesel 6.34 5.61

6.98 6.26 5.52

6.62

Petrol 2.69

2.99 2.83 2.60

3.01 2.75

LPG 2.39 2.32

2.40 2.45 2.36

2.48

Naphtha 1.16 0.94

0.96 1.11 1.15

1.26

Jet fuel 0.38

0.62 0.59 0.41

0.59 0.48

Kerosene 0.03 0.13

0.03 0.04 0.13

0.12

Fuel Oil 0.60 0.52

0.56 0.60 0.54

0.56

Bitumen 0.47 0.31

0.59 0.47 0.41

0.66

TOTAL 17.81 15.31

18.37 17.21 15.89

17.76

(Reporting by Brijesh Patel and Seher Dareen in Bengaluru; Editing by Jan Harvey and Bill Berkrot)