Nayara Energy, a private fuel retailer, posted a 48 per cent jump in petrol sales in the first quarter of the 2024 calendar year, while exports dropped as the firm met rising local demand for fuel.

In the January-March quarter, Nayara sold 70 per cent of all petroleum products it produced at its Vadinar oil refinery in Gujarat in the local Indian market, a company statement said.

"Nayara Energy is primarily focused on catering to the growing demand of petroleum products in India through institutional business, sales to other oil companies and through its own retail chain," it added.

Petrol sold locally rose to 0.89 million tonnes in the first quarter of 2024 from 0.60 million tonnes in January-March 2023. Diesel sales were almost flat at 1.7 million tonnes.

"Nayara believes in being a strong partner to India's energy needs and will continue to serve the country's energy consumption demands," it said.

"The first quarter of the year sees a positive momentum building up for the economic activity in the country with the onset of harvest season."

The country is short in production of crude oil (raw material for making fuels like petrol and diesel), but it has surplus refining capacity, which leads to the export of petroleum products like diesel. “Against the consumption of 233.3 million tonnes, petroleum product production was 276.1 million tonnes in 2023-24,” the Oil Ministry data showed.

"Gasoline (petrol) export sales percentage have decreased year-on-year from 37 per cent of total gasoline sales in January-March 2023 to 11 per cent of total gasoline sales in January-March 2024, testimony of our focus towards meeting requirements for domestic consumption."

Export markets

Nayara Energy's export markets continue to be Africa, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. "No automotive fuels (petrol or gasoline and diesel or gasoil) were exported to Europe." Out of the total 1.53 million tonnes exported, gasoil exports stood at about 0.95 million tonnes.

"Over the past five years, gasoil export sales to the European Union as a percentage of total gasoil exports is minuscule," the firm said.

Petrol and diesel consumption in India saw a 5.3 per cent growth from January to March 2024. Consumption of 32.3 million tonnes of auto fuels in the quarter compared to 30.7 million tonnes demand during the same period of the previous year. This growth was led by an 8.4 per cent rise in petrol and 4.1 per cent in diesel consumption.

"Nayara is committed to providing the energy that fuels the dreams of its customers, partners, communities and employees," the statement said.

The firm owns about 8 per cent of India's oil refining output. It operates a 20 million tonnes a year oil refinery at Vadinar.

"Reaffirming its commitment to being a trusted partner for India's rising energy demand, Nayara Energy has been building its domestic business in a sustained manner. With 70 per cent of its products being consumed in the Indian market, and the company delivering 8 per cent of India's refining output, Nayara Energy is committed to contributing to India's energy security," said Alessandro des Dorides, Chief Executive Officer, Nayara Energy.