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India diesel sales dip in first half of November

November 17/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- India’s diesel sales dipped in the first half of November after briefly recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in October, raising concerns about industrial growth in Asia’s third largest economy, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Diesel sales by the country’s state-run refiners fell 5% during the first fifteen days of November compared with the year earlier period, to 2.86 million tons, according to provisional data compiled by Indian Oil Corp (IOC).

India’s diesel consumption, which accounts for about 40% of overall refined fuel sales in the country and is a key parameter linked to its economic growth, had risen for the first time in eight months in October. IOC, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Bharat Petroleum own about 90% of India’s retail fuel outlets.

Lower diesel sales in the world’s third largest crude importer could be bad news for oil producers and refineries as the fuel accounts for the bulk of refiners’ output. However, industry officials say diesel demand typically picks up before the festival season, which runs from mid-October until early November, and slows down during and after it.

Sales of gasoline rose marginally to 1.03 million tons, the industry data showed, while sales of jet fuel were down 53% and liquefied petroleum gas sales fell 2%.

Activity in India’s dominant services industry also expanded for the first time in eight months in October. Indian government officials have cited higher power consumption and tax collections as indicators of demand returning to pre-COVID levels.

India’s daily COVID-19 case count has steadily declined since September, although it has the second highest total number of cases in the world.

As MRC informed earlier, India’s fuel consumption in October registered its first year-on-year increase since February, as slowing coronavirus cases and increased mobility accelerated an economic recovery. Consumption of refined fuels, a proxy for oil demand, rose 2.5% in October from the prior year to 17.78 million tons and nearly 15% higher from the previous month, data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas showed.

As MRC informed previously, India’s top refiner Indian Oil Corp has been operating at 100% capacity since early November as local fuel demand has recovered.

We remind that IOC is expanding its petrochemical capacity by more than 70 per cent from its current 3.2 million tonnes a year. It is also on new technologies that reduces the cost of producing petrochemicals.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing PE and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,594,510 tonnes in the first nine months of 2020, up by 1% year on year. Only high denstiy polyethylene (HDPE) shipments increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 880,130 tonnes in the nine months of 2020 (calculated using the formula: production minus exports plus imports, exluding producers' inventories as of 1 January, 2020). Supply increased exclusively of PP random copolymer.
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:petroleum products, crude oil, PP, PE, neftegaz, petrochemistry, India.
Category:General News
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