India's 2013/14 fuel demand growth slowest in over a decade

NEW DELHI Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:37pm IST

An employee fills diesel in a public bus at a fuel station in Kolkata August 13, 2012. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri/Files

An employee fills diesel in a public bus at a fuel station in Kolkata August 13, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri/Files

Related Topics

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's local fuel sales increased at their slowest pace in more than a decade in the year to March, reflecting the sluggish growth of its economy and manufacturing activity.

India's economic growth has almost halved to below 5 percent in the past two years on weak investments and consumer demand, the worst slowdown for the south Asian nation since the 1980s.

Local oil product sales, a proxy for oil demand in the world's fourth-largest oil consumer, rose 0.7 percent to 158.2 million tonnes in fiscal year 2013/14, according to the data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) of the oil ministry.

It was the slowest pace of growth since a 0.4 percent rate was registered in 2001/02.

Diesel consumption, which accounts for over 40 percent of local fuel sales, declined 1 percent in the year, its first fall in more than a decade, the data showed.

Higher rainfall and improved power supply curbed demand for diesel from farmers, who use it to power irrigation equipment.

A sustained rise in retail diesel prices narrowed the gap with prices of gasoline. Gasoline consumption grew by 8.8 percent in the year, despite declining vehicle sales.

Sales of trucks and buses, which mostly run on diesel, declined about a fifth in the year due to a weak economy and high interest rates.

In March, India consumed 0.8 percent more refined products than in the same month of 2013, the data showed, helped by higher sales of cooking gas after the government raised the cap on the number of subsidised gas cylinders allowed per household.

India shipped in about 3.81 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil in 2013/14, a growth of 2.6 percent over the previous year. In March, imports declined 1 percent to 3.5 million bpd, the data showed.

Both imports and exports of oil products declined 4.6 percent in March versus the same month a year ago, the data showed.

The data for imports and exports is preliminary, because private refiners provide data at their discretion.

(Additional reporting by Manoj Kumar in NEW DELHI; editing by Jane Baird)

FILED UNDER:

Reuters Showcase

Land Ordinance

Land Ordinance

Modi says willing to make changes in land decree  Full Article 

Sahara Woes

Sahara Woes

SEBI cancels Sahara's portfolio management licence  Full Article 

Gold Demand

Gold Demand

India gold demand muted, eyes cut in import duty  Full Article 

Coffee's Hot

Coffee's Hot

IPO could value Cafe Coffee Day at $1 billion  Full Article 

Sahara Salaries

Sahara Salaries

Some staff say Sahara has not paid salaries for months   Full Article 

DLF Fined

DLF Fined

DLF says reviewing $8.4 million SEBI penalty  Full Article 

GM Corn

GM Corn

Monsanto says GM corn trial in final stage in India  Full Article 

Rail Budget

Rail Budget

Breakingviews - India goes back to future with $137 bln rail push  Full Article | Full Coverage 

Clean Energy

Clean Energy

India says clean energy a $160 billion opportunity over five years  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage