Indian Oil’s petrol sales up by 1% in Sept as personal mobility preference rises

Indian Oil’s petrol sales up by 1% in Sept as personal mobility preference rises

Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOC), the country’s largest fuel retailer, on Monday said petrol sales were up by 1% in September as compared to the corresponding period last year, on account of increasing preference for personal mobility, as lockdown restrictions eased.

This assumes importance as the Indian economy has been severely hit by the covid-19 pandemic. Energy consumption, especially electricity and refinery products, is usually linked to overall demand in the economy. India’s lockdown, the world’s largest and strictest, was the focal point of India’s strategy to contain the virus that originated in Wuhan, China.

“For the first fortnight of September 2020, Indian Oil’s diesel sales rose 22% month-on-month, but was down 9% year-on-year whereas petrol sales is up 9% month-on-month and registered growth of 1% vis-à-vis Sept., 2019,” said Indian Oil chairman, S.M. Vaidya while addressing reporters on Monday after the state-run firm’s annual general meeting.

The cost of the Indian basket of crude, which comprises Oman, Dubai and Brent crude, averaged $56.43 and $69.88 per barrel in FY18 and FY19, respectively. It was $19.90 in April, $30.60 in May, $40.63 in June, $43.35 in July and $44.19 a barrel in August respectively, according to data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell. The price was $42.88 a barrel on 18 September.

Vaidya had earlier said the company doesn’t expect capacity utilization to be back to pre-covid levels in the near future.

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