• India’s gasoil sales ebb in Jan 1-15 as COVID-19 spread deters retail spending

    India’s gasoil sales declined in the first fortnight of January as rising COVID-19 infections hit consumer spending and truck movement in the country.

    Gasoil sales by the country’s state fuel retailers amounted to 2.47 million tonnes during Jan. 1-15, data compiled by state-owned refiners showed, down by 14.1% from the same period in December and about 5% from a year ago. Sales were down about 8% from the same period in 2020.

    “Truck movement declined to 75% in January 1-15 from 85% in December,” said S.P. Singh, senior fellow at Indian Foundation for Transport Research and Training. He said local cargo movement has been restricted as the rising number of COVID-19 infections has added to the fear of job losses, hitting consumer spending and retail sales.

    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 account for about two-fifths of India’s overall refined fuel consumption, are directly linked to industrial activity in Asia’s third-largest economy.

    The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index INPMI=ECI, compiled and collected by IHS Markit, fell to 55.5 in December from November’s 57.6. Gasoline sales during the period was at 964,380 tonnes, a decline of about 14% from the first fortnight of December and 2.8% lower than a year ago, the data showed.

    The sales of gasoline however continued to stay above pre-COVID-19 levels, rising by about 5.66% from 2020, as people continued to prefer using personal vehicles over public transport for safety reasons.

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