India’s October fuel demand revs up on festive boost

(Reuters) -India’s fuel consumption rose to a four-month high in October, government data showed on Monday, as increased industrial activity boosted sales during the festive season and the onset of winter in the world’s third biggest oil consumer.

Total consumption in October, a proxy for oil demand, rose by 5.5% to 19.26 million tonnes from 18.26 million tonnes in September, the data from Indian oil ministry’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) show.

It was up 3.7% compared with the same period a year earlier.

“India’s festive season across October greatly boosted consumption rates, but so did the start of the winter season, which usually sees construction activity pick up and infrastructure projects being launched,” said Viktor Katona, lead crude analyst at Kpler.

This is corroborated by the spike in bitumen demand, while diesel will be the “main growth engine” in the upcoming months, Katona added.

Sales of gasoline in October were 2.6% higher than the previous month at 3.14 million tonnes.

Sales of bitumen, used for making roads, rose by 29% from September, while fuel oil use declined by 1.9% in October.

Sales of diesel, mainly used by trucks and commercially run passenger vehicles, increased by more than 17% month-on-month to 7.63 million tonnes.

“Additionally, solid economic growth in India is also helping to support oil demand versus the same month one year ago,” UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo said.

Cooking gas, or liquefied petroleum gas, sales decreased by 2% to 2.50 million tonnes, while naphtha sales rose 12% to about 1.12 million tonnes, the data showed.

2023 2023 2023 2022 2022 2022

Oct. Sept. Aug. Oct. Sept. Aug.

Diesel 7.63 6.49 6.67 6.99 6.25 6.34

Petrol 3.14 3.06 3.09 3.00 2.83 3.01

LPG 2.50 2.55 2.46 2.39 2.44 2.39

Naphtha 1.12 1.00 1.21 0.86 0.98 1.09

Jet fuel 0.69 0.66 0.68 0.62 0.59 0.60

Kerosene 0.03 0.03 0.05 0.03 0.04 0.03

Fuel Oil 0.53 0.54 0.51 0.59 0.60 0.62

Bitumen 0.71 0.55 0.50 0.59 0.36 0.32

TOTAL 19.26 18.26 18.86 18.58 16.87 17.44

NOTE: Total figures may not tally because not all items are included in the table, and numbers are rounded.

(Reporting by Anjana Anil and Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; editing by Barbara Lewis)