Petrol and diesel sales in India slumped in December as setting in of winter tapered demand, preliminary data of state-owned firms showed on Monday.
Petrol sales of the three state-owned firms, which control 90 per cent of the fuel market, fell 1.4 per cent to 2.72 million tonnes in December 2023 when compared to the year-ago period, while diesel demand dropped 7.8 per cent to 6.73 million tonnes.
The onset of the winter season in northern India led to the tapering of air-conditioning demand.
Month-on-month petrol sales dropped 4.9 per cent when compared to 2.86 million tonnes consumption in November. Diesel demand too was down 0.8 per cent month-on-month when compared to 6.79 million tonnes in November.
Diesel is India's most consumed fuel, accounting for almost 40 per cent of all petroleum product consumption. Transport sector accounts for 70 per cent of all diesel sales in the country.
Fuel consumption has been on a see-saw over the last couple of months.
Demand for both petrol and diesel had risen in October but diesel consumption fell 7.5 per cent in the following month.
Consumption of petrol during December 2023 was 7.1 per cent more than in the COVID-marred December 2021 and 21.5 per cent more than in pre-pandemic December 2019.
Diesel consumption was up 4.3 per cent over December 2021 and 2.7 per cent compared to December 2019.
Jet fuel (ATF) sales rose 3.8 per cent year-on-year to 644,900 tonnes in December. But this was 6.5 per cent lower than in December 2019 primarily because not all international flights have resumed after the pandemic.
ATF consumption was 25.5 per cent more than in December 2021, but lower than 628,400 tonnes used in pre-COVID December 2019.
Month-on-month jet fuel sales were 2.6 per cent higher than 628,400 tonnes in November 2023.
Cooking gas LPG sales were almost flat year-on-year at 2.73 million tonnes in December. LPG consumption was 8.1 per cent higher than in December 2021 and 16.4 per cent more than in pre-COVID December 2019.
Month-on-month, LPG demand rose 6.2 per cent against 2.57 million tonnes of LPG consumption during November, the data showed.