In a clear sign of slowing economic activity in the country, India's fuel consumption grew by just two per cent in November and the most used diesel sales showing moderation for the second month in a row.
Oil product consumption in November was 10.99 million tons, a tad higher than 10.77 million tons in the same month last year, according to latest data available from the petroleum ministry.
Diesel sales, which had during the first part of current fiscal seen a growth rate of 15-16 per cent, rose by 8.6 per cent to 4.46 million tons in November while demand for petrol was up 5.9 per cent to 914,900 tons.
Increased vehicle movements for electioneering in five states and power outages that forced use of gensets were responsible for the over eight per cent growth in diesel demand, a ministry official said.
Reflecting slowdown in aviation sector, jet fuel consumption was down 6.5 per cent at 371,400 tons. Industrial fuels naphtha and light diesel oil also recorded negative growth rates.
Oil product demand in April-November rose 4 per cent to 86.6 million tons with diesel consumption rising by 10.7 per cent to 33.73 million tons.
Crude oil imports in November rose 7.8 per cent to 9.87 million tons, with private refiners accounting for almost one-third of the inward shipments. Product imports, however, declined 17.3 per cent to 1.35 million tons on lower LPG and diesel imports.
Fuel exports were also down 9.6 per cent to 2.66 million tons, with diesel being the most shipped product at 1.21 million tons.
Crude oil imports in April-November was up 7.9 per cent at 86.08 million tons while inward shipments of petroleum products was down 12.3 per cent to 13 million tons.
Naphtha was the most imported commodity at 3.4 million tons but this was 19.7 per cent lower than 3.78 million tons of the industrial fuel imports in April-November last fiscal.
Exports declined 10.2 per cent to 23.95 million tons. Diesel (8.88 million tons), naphtha (4.81 million tons) and fuel oil (3.87 million tons) were the most shipped products, the data showed.