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India gasoline sales jump to pre-covid levels in September, diesel improves

October 09/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indian state refiners annual gasoline sales rose to pre-COVID levels in September and a fall in diesel sales slowed, as the loosening of lockdown restrictions boosted energy consumption and economic activity, provisional industry data showed, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Last month, gasoline sales by state refiners saw their first annual growth since March, underpinned by a gradual lifting of coronavirus curbs even as India suffers one of the highest infection rates in the world. Indias fuel consumption- a proxy for oil demand- was hard hit by a nation-wide lockdown imposed in March to stem the spread of Covid-19.

Indian state retailers sold 2.2 MM tons of gasoline last month, up 1.85% from a year ago as the sale of passenger cars surged and as motorists increasingly rely on personal vehicles to commute amid rising coronavirus cases. Gasoline sales were up 10.5% from August.

Gasoil sales were at 4.84 MM tons, down 7.3% from a year ago but up 22% from August, according to data provided by the country's top refiner Indian Oil Corp. A continued recovery in gasoline and gasoil sales, which accounts for over half of the refined fuel consumption in India, would help improve refinery runs further.

IOCs crude processing last month improved due to a recovery in fuel demand, its chairman M.S.Vaidya said, betting that fuel appetite could return to pre-covid levels this quarter. State companies IOC.NS, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Bharat Petroleum own about 90% of India's retail fuel outlets.

State retailers sold 2.3 MM tons of liquefied petroleum gas in September, 5.3% higher than last year and up 3.6% from August. Jet fuel sales last month rose 23.4% from August to about 290,000 tons, but fell 53% from a year ago as curbs on air travel remained in place.

As MRC informed earlier, Indian Oil Corporation proposes to leverage its growing petrochemical operations to expand textile business as it looks to diversify operations and offset risks associated with oil operations. At a recent Asia Pacific oil summit IOC chairman S M Vaidya reportedly said that petrochemical expansion is being targeted by the company as it gives the company ability to de-risk from lower refining margins.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russian plants' total PP production grew to 158,800 tonnes in July, compared to 149,400 tonnes a month earlier; ZapSibNeftekhim, Nizhnekamskneftekhim and Poliom increased their capacity utilisation. Russia's overall PP production reached 1,063,700 tonnes in January-July 2020, compared to 854,500 tonnes a year earlier. Five out of eight producers raised their capacity utilisation, with a new producer - ZapSibNeftekhim - accounting for the main increase in the output.

Indian Oil Corporation Limited, or IndianOil, is an Indian state-owned oil and gas corporation with its headquarters in New Delhi, India.
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:petroleum products, crude oil, PP, Indian Oil Corp.
Category:General News
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