NEW DELHI: India’s gasoil and gasoline sales rebounded in the first fortnight of February from the previous month, indicating a recovery in industrial and consumer demand as states lifted most of the COVID-19 induced restrictions.
States in India have opened schools and colleges, and eased night-curfews among other curbs, after a sharp decline in infections.
Gasoil sales by the country’s state fuel retailers amounted to 2.65 million tonnes during Feb 1 to Feb 15, data compiled by state-owned refiners showed, up 6.7 per cent from the same period last month, the data showed.
Gasoil sales were however down by 6.95 per cent from a year ago and by 14.7 per cent from the same period in 2020.
“Cargo movment remains brisk with 5 to 10 per cent more despatch from factory gates across the country,” said S.P. Singh, senior fellow at Indian Foundation for Transport Research and Training.
He said consumer spending and the movement of various goods such as electronics, cement and metals were bouyant due to wedding season.
Sales of gasoil, which account for about two-fifths of India’s overall refined fuel consumption, are directly linked to industrial activity in Asia’s third-largest economy.
Gasoline sales during Feb 1 to Feb 15 was at 1.04 million tonnes, up 7.3 per cent from the first fortnight of January and 0.1 per cent from a year ago, as people continued to prefer using personal vehicles over public transport for safety reasons, the data showed.
State retailers Indian Oil Corp, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd own about 90 per cent of the country’s retail fuel outlets.