State retailers’ gasoline and gasoil sales in March rose by 27.4 per cent and 28.6 per cent, respectively, from the low base of last year when a nationwide lockdown to stem the spread of the coronavirus hit consumption, preliminary industry data showed. State companies – Indian Oil Corp, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Bharat Petroleum – own about 90% of India’s retail fuel outlets.
The three companies sold 2.47 million tonnes of gasoline last month, the data compiled by three state retailers showed. Diesel consumption, an indicator of economic growth, which accounts for about 40 per cent of overall refined fuel sales in India, totalled 6.41 million tonnes in March, the data showed. India imposed a strict nationwide lockdown from March 24 last year, resulting in a deep cut in fuel consumption.
“Sales of petrol and diesel are back to near pre-COVID levels as industry activity and travel has picked up,” an official at one of the state refiners said on condition of anonymity. State retailers’ sales of liquefied petroleum gas, or cooking gas, last month declined 1.2 per cent to 2.26 million tonnes as the federal government reduced a subsidy for the fuel, the data showed. Jet fuel sales declined by 4.4% to 437,000 tonnes
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