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Fuel demand in the world’s third-largest crude oil importer, India, jumped by 10.2% in November from a year earlier, according to official data released on Friday.
Gasoline consumption rose 8.1% year over year in November, per data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) of the Indian Petroleum Ministry cited by Reuters.
Demand for naphtha slumped by 18.2%, but sales of bitumen, primarily used for making roads, surged by 30.3%. India’s fuel oil consumption rose by 8.4% last month compared to the same month of 2021.
Recovering demand in India is driving increased crude oil imports in the country, with purchases rising in the past few months, especially imports of deeply discounted crude from Russia.
India imported a record high volume of Russian crude of 1 million barrels per day (bpd) in November, with Russia beating Iraq, which supplied 960,000 bpd to India. The world’s third-largest oil importer saw crude imports rise to a four-month high in November due to robust domestic demand and the rush to buy Russian oil ahead of the EU-G7 bans and sanctions.
The biggest crude oil buyers in Asia, China, and India, haven’t joined the price cap mechanism on Russian crude oil and have signaled that their energy security and continued ability to import crude from all exporters are at the top of their import policy strategies.
The October-December quarter is seasonally a strong quarter for oil demand in India as industrial and farming activity picks up after the end of the monsoon season.
In October, India’s petroleum product demand hit the highest for the month in a decade, analysts told The Hindu Business Line last month. Boosted by holiday seasons and higher industrial and agricultural activity, Indian demand for gasoline, diesel, and other fuels is expected to rise by around 210,000 bpd in the fourth quarter compared to the previous quarter.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.