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Oil Sales Signal Little Hope for V-Shaped Recovery in India

  • India’s diesel sales fell 20% m/m and 23% y/y in early-August
  • State-level lockdowns add to seasonal slump in diesel demand
India Raises Diesel Prices First Time In 6 Months

Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg

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For a glimpse into the impact of rolling lockdowns and sputtering factory sales on Asia’s second-biggest oil importer, look no further than India’s fuel purchasing patterns.

The sale of diesel -- the country’s most-used fuel and a proxy for its economic health -- slumped 20% in the first half of August from the same period in July, according to people familiar with preliminary data from the country’s three biggest fuel retails. Sales were down almost a quarter from a year earlier, more evidence that India’s economic recovery from Covid-19 is stalling or going backwards.