India’s crude oil imports touched 7-year high in August as oil companies stepped up purchases to meet galloping domestic fuel demand. Indian refiners imported 18.81 million tons (mt) crude oil in August, 9.1 per cent higher than 17.23 mt imported in the same month a year ago, according to the oil ministry’s Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell.
That is the highest monthly crude oil import since April 2009. India paid Rs 39,030 crore for crude oil imports in August, as opposed to Rs 39,024 crore a year ago. Asia’s third largest economy is witnessing fastest pace of fuel consumption growth among major economies. India’s fuel consumption rose 11.4 per cent to 15.8 mt in August with petrol demand reaching a record 25 per cent (2.2 mt). Diesel sales rose to 6.1 mt in August from 5.4 mt a year ago. LPG consumption was up 20 per cent to 1.8 mt. ATF demand also rose by same proportion to 0.6 mt. Except for naphtha and kerosene, all other products registered positive growth during August.
During the April-August period of the current fiscal, fuel consumption rose 9.3 to 80.4 mt. Petrol demand rose 13.6 per cent while diesel sale was up 6 per cent at 32.1 mt. The data showed crude oil processing by the refineries during August rising to 20.28 mt from 19.,61 mt a year ago. On cumulative basis, crude oil processed in the fist five months of 2016-17 by refineries was 101.78 mt as against crude oil processing of 94.56 mt in the same period last year.