India's diesel sales fall in October, data shows

A worker fills diesel in a container at a fuel station in Kolkata, India, February 1, 2018. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri/File Photo

NEW DELHI, Oct 17 (Reuters) - India's gasoil consumption fell in the first half of October from the same period in the previous year, preliminary sales data showed.

Diesel sales by the country's state fuel retailers came in at 2.4 million tonnes during Oct. 1-15, a decline of about 9.2% from last year and down 0.9% from the same period in 2019, the data showed.

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

Sales of gasoil, which accounts for about two-fifths of India's overall refined fuel consumption, are directly linked to industrial activity in Asia's third-largest economy.

In contrast, gasoline sales stayed above the pre-COVID levels at 1.05 million tonnes as people continued to prefer using personal vehicles over public transport for safety reasons.

India has not yet fully opened its public transport sector, which mostly uses diesel.

October gasoline sales were up 8.3% from the same period in 2019 and rose by 2% from September, the data showed.

Below is a table of India' preliminary fuel sales data with volumes in thousand tonnes.

Writing by Sudarshan Varadhan; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.