Petrol sales flat, diesel retail slides despite election campaign hitting a peak

  • Petrol and diesel diesel demand in India remains sluggish in May despite the election campaign being at its peak.
petrol diesel price
Petrol and diesel diesel demand in India remains sluggish in May despite the election campaign being at its peak. (HT_PRINT)
petrol diesel price
Petrol and diesel diesel demand in India remains sluggish in May despite the election campaign being at its peak.

Petrol sales in India remained almost flat in May 2024, while diesel sales continued to slide despite election campaigns for the general elections hitting a peak, PTI has reported quoting the data released by the state-owned oil marketing firms. Petrol and diesel sales during election campaigns have traditionally surged in India during the past elections, as candidates extensively use automobiles to reach their voters. However, this time, it is a different trend as revealed by the PSUs.

The report revealed that petrol sales of three state-owned firms, which control 90 per cent of the Indian fuel market at 1.367 million tonnes in the first half of May 2024 were almost the same as 1.36 million tonnes of fuel consumed in the same period a year ago. However, petrol sales have soared by 11 per cent on a month-on-month basis in the first half of May 2024 compared to the same period a year ago, revealed the data.

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Diesel sales, on the other hand, slumped 1.1 per cent to 3.28 million tonnes during the first half of this month. The most consumed automotive fuel in India has registered a demand drop of 2.3 per cent in April and 2.7 per cent in March as well, which means the slump in demand for diesel continued in May as well.

In the first half of May 2024, several parts of the country witnessed a scorching heat wave, which could have been another reason behind the sales surge of fuel, which didn't happen though. During summer, air conditioning in cars usually works overtime, which leads to a rise in fuel consumption. However, this was not the case in May 2024. Interestingly, these sluggish sales came at a time when petrol and diesel prices were reduced by 2 per litre in the middle of March this year, ending a nearly two-year-long hiatus in fuel rate revision.

In April 2024, month-on-month petrol sales were up 11 per cent compared to 1.23 million tonnes of petrol consumption recorded between April 1 and April 15. Diesel demand was four per cent higher month-on-month against 3.15 million tonnes in the first half of April 2024.

First Published Date: 19 May 2024, 11:48 AM IST
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