Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Apr 14, 2005
Industry & Economy
Petro product sales up 1.2% in March; diesel demand falls
Mumbai , April 13
DIESEL, which forms 40 per cent of total sales of petroleum products in the country, recorded a 2.1 per cent fall in demand in March 2005 compared to last March. Overall sales of petroleum products grew by 1.2 per cent in the last month compared to March 2004.
Diesel demand was affected partly because of a fall in diesel used for agricultural pumps in northern India, according to officials of PSU oil companies.
Petrol sales increased 3.4 per cent, with higher retail sales, although direct sales suffered. Kerosene sold through public distribution and cooking gas or LPG recorded growth of 8.4 per cent and 3.4 per cent respectively.
Kerosene sales had been falling for more than one year. In January, the Government increased allocation of kerosene through the public distribution system in the southern States that have been affected by the tsunami; this has led to continued increase in volumes supplied by oil companies.
LPG sales, too, have been recording lower than normal growth as oil companies have tightened norms to check the illegal use of domestic cooking gas by restaurants and vehicles, a senior Indian Oil official said.
Naphtha sales saw a 15.1 per cent drop in sales. Sales have been affected because of power and fertiliser units switching to natural gas instead of using the more expensive liquid fuel.
Compressed natural gas used as vehicular fuel, however, saw sales suffer for the first time in more than a year.
Sales of furnace oil and low sulphur heavy stock, used mostly by small industrial users, rose 12.8 per cent indicating a growth in the manufacturing sector.
Aviation turbine fuel also sold 16.2 per cent more than last year.
With more airlines flying an increased number of routes within and to India, these sales are expected to rise further.
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