India’s December 1-15 diesel sales down 5.2% year on year | Economy News

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New Delhi: India`s diesel sales fell 5.2% in the first half of December year-on-year, preliminary data from state-run fuel retailers showed on Wednesday, signalling that industrial growth in Asia`s third-largest economy has not yet reached pre-COVID-19 levels.

Diesel consumption, a key parameter linked to economic growth and which accounts for about 40% of overall refined fuel sales in India, fell to 2.8 million tonnes in the first half of the month.

Growth in India`s services and manufacturing industries lost some momentum last month as coronavirus fears weighed on demand and output, prompting firms to cut jobs for the eighth month in a row, two separate private surveys showed.

Gasoline sales rose by an annual 9.5% during the first half of the month to 1.05 million tonnes.

Local diesel sales by state-run refiners have been falling since March, when coronavirus-related restrictions had hit industrial activity and mobility. However, annual demand for diesel saw a temporary rise in October ahead of the festival season.

State fuel retailers — Indian Oil Corp, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Bharat Petroleum — own about 90% of the country`s retail fuel outlets.

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Sales of jet fuel declined by 47% to about 180,000 tonnes while those of liquefied petroleum gas rose by 10.4% to 1.18 million tonnes during Dec. 1-15.

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