While the base effect drove up oil imports in value terms year-on-year in September-October, demand from captive power plants has been growing because of coal shortages in certain states. A research note by Indranil Sen Gupta, Bank of America-Merrill Lynchs India economist, says that the 10% jump in the April-October oil import bill of the commerce ministry is overestimated vis--vis the petroleum ministrys 1.9%. He says the petroleum ministrys data is consistent with the physical oil imports, which rose 3.4% during the period and crude price decreasing 4.7% during the period.
Interestingly, oil exports data from the two ministeries almost match with each other. While the commerce ministry has reported a 15.2% fall in oil exports during April-September, the petroleum ministry has reported a 14.3% decline, which is consistent with the 9.2% drop in physical oil exports reported by the latter.