Bulk diesel sales fall 30% as users go for retail buys
When asked about the bulk consumers buying in retail, IOC chairman RS Butola said: “This is a very short period, let us not say that it is a trend. But we admit that there has been a significant drop in bulk diesel sales and corresponding increase in retail sales.”
In an attempt to contain the rising oil subsidy burden, the government last month scrapped subsidy on bulk diesel sold to the railways, state transport corporations, defence, power plants, other industrial users, etc. These entities were getting diesel at prices even lower than subsidised rates prevailing at retail outlets.India consumes around 64.5 million tonnes of diesel, out of which around 12 million tonnes is bulk sales.
The move to deregulate bulk diesel had led private oil refiners like Reliance and Essar to hope that they could exploit the opportunity. But with the drop in sales volumes and diversion towards retail sales, the private companies haven’t made any headway in the space.
“We have received enquiries from some bulk consumers and are exploring the options of serving them. As the majority of the bulk consumers are either government or government-controlled units, we can look for some volume customers in Gujarat. Most of the bulk consumers have annual contracts and we will participate once they come up for renewal,” an Essar Oil
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