Rains dampen Indian state retailers' Aug. 1-15 gasoil sales

A worker holds a nozzle to pump petrol into a vehicle at a fuel station in Mumbai, India, May 21, 2018. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

NEW DELHI, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Gasoil sales by Indian state fuel retailers in the first half of August were subdued from levels seen in the prior month, as monsoon rains hit mobility and construction work, preliminary sales data showed, while gasoline sales recovered marginally.

Fuel demand in India, the world's third-biggest oil importer and consumer, typically falls during the four-month monsoon season that begins in June.

Gasoil demand for Aug. 1-15 fell by about 11.2% to 2.82 million tonnes from the corresponding period last month, while gasoline demand edged up 0.8% to 1.29 million, the data showed.

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Apart from the impact on transport and construction, the monsoon rains also affect demand from the agriculture sector, as farmers use gasoil-fired generation sets for irrigation.

Gasoil, which makes up about two-fifths of India's consumption of refined fuel, is directly linked to industrial activity in Asia's third-largest economy.

State retailers Indian Oil Corp (IOC.NS), Hindustan Petroleum Corp (HPCL.NS) and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL.NS) own about 90% of India's retail fuel outlets.

India's preliminary fuel sales data, with volumes in thousand tonnes, is mentioned below.

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Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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