The state refiners’ daily gasoline sales in February rose by 1.5 per cent from a year earlier, its slowest pace of growth in six months, preliminary industry data showed, as record-high retail prices hit consumption. State-refiners’ daily diesel sales, which are related closely to economic growth and account for about 40 per cent of overall refined fuel sales in the country, fell by 5.3 per cent in February, the largest decline in three months, the data showed. Gasoline and gasoil prices in India have risen to record highs, mirroring global markets. Taxes account for about 61 per cent of retail gasoline prices and about 56 per cent of diesel prices.
State fuel retailers sold 2.22 million tonnes of gasoline and 5.81 million tonnes of diesel last month, the data provided by an industry source showed. State companies- Indian Oil Corp, Hindustan Petroleum Corp, and Bharat Petroleum – own about 90 per cent of the country’s retail fuel outlets.
Rising diesel and petrol prices could push up inflation, making it harder for the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to continue its accommodative monetary policy.
“Pump prices of petrol and diesel have reached historical highs. An unwinding of taxes on petroleum products by both the centre and the states could ease the cost push pressures,” the RBI said in its policy document last month.
State retailers sold 2.26 million tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas last month, 11.4 per cent higher than last year, while jet fuel sales declined by 38.5 per cent as curbs on air travel remained in place, the data showed.