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Energy News

Festive season drives up consumer demand for fuel and improved runs at refineries

NEW DELHI:Dieselsales climbed 6.6% andpetrolrose 4% in October over the last year as the festive season drove up consumer demand and perked up the economy.

Diesel witnessed its first monthly rise in October since the onset of the pandemic earlier this year that severely hurt demand for transportation fuels. Compared to September this year, the demand recovery looked even more dramatic with diesel rising 27.5% and petrol 8.5%, according to provisional sales data from state-run oil companies that control 90% of the fuel retail market.

Demand for jet fuel too recovered 13% month-on-month with the number of flights increasing but is still down 50% from last year. Cooking gas consumption rose 7% month-on-month and 3.8% year-on-year.

The festive season-fuelled consumer demand has increased goods transportation across the country, driving up diesel sales, an industry executive said. With manufacturing and commercial activity rising, more vehicles are on the road, increasing demand for fuels.

Several online retailers have registered strong sales during the festive season that began mid-October and will extend until the beginning of the new year.Strong sales of cars and two-wheelers too have contributed to robust fuel demand. India’s exports also rose 6% in September over the last year, driven by sharp growth in shipments of iron ore, garments and drugs.

People’s preference for personal vehicles to avoid crowded public transport during the pandemic has also boosted demand for petrol.

Recovery in fuel demand has improved runs at refineries. The average run at Indian Oil Corp, the nation’s largest refiner, has risen to 94% from below 50% in April.

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