New Delhi: India’s gasoline (petrol) sales soared over the first half of May for the best start to a month in more than two years as people utilized their air-conditioned cars to escape a record-breaking heatwave.
The three biggest retailers sold 1.28 million tons of gasoline during May 1-15, up 14% from the corresponding period in April, according to refinery officials with knowledge of the matter. That’s also the biggest volume sold over the first half of a month since at least March 2020.
India’s heatwave has sparked a power crisis, damaged crops and threatened the health of millions of people, with the mercury jumping as high as 48 degrees Celsius (118 degrees Fahrenheit) in some parts this month. Public transport such as buses and trains are typically without air-conditioning.
Pump prices have also remained unchanged since early April following a series of increases from state-run refiners after the end of local elections. Diesel sales, meanwhile, rose 1.8% month-on-month to 3.05 million tons.
Sales of liquefied petroleum gas, a cooking fuel that had seen fairly stable sales through the pandemic, rose 2.8% from April, while aviation fuel increased 7.7% as air traffic gained momentum.
Spokespeople at the three retailers — Indian Oil Corp., Bharat Petroleum Corp. and Hindustan Petroleum Corp. — couldn’t immediately comment. The companies together account for over 90% of Indian fuel sales.
Here’s a table of the preliminary data:
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