As electioneering picks up pace for the 2014 general elections it is has a direct bearing on India’s oil imports.
India is world’s third largest crude oil importer and with the elections drawing closer its oil imports surged 23 per cent in February to 16.42 million tonnes in February up from 13.37 million tonnes in the same period last month, Oil Ministry data showed.
Refiners see demand for fuel, especially diesel, rising as electioneering picks up for the April-May Lok Sabha polls. Fuel demand in February rose 2.4 per cent to 12.836 million tons. Sales of diesel, the most consumed fuel in the country, were flat at 5.38 million tons, after dipping in the previous two months.
Demand for diesel has declined in all but three months of the current financial year.
According to government data India imported 1.41 million tons of petroleum products including LPG in February.
India, has a surplus refining capacity, is short on cooking gas production and imported 629,000 tons of LPG last month. Exports rose to 5.2 million tons from 4.56 million tons in February 2013. India exported 2.02 million tons of diesel in February, up from 1.51 million tons in the same month a year ago.
It shipped 1.21 million tons of petrol overseas (1.07 million tons last fiscal) and 455,000 tons of jet fuel or ATF (467,000 tons previous year).