India’s petroleum products (POL) exports rose 8 per cent m-o-m and 15 per cent on an annual basis in July 2023 aided by higher outbound shipments of diesel during the months, the highest so far in FY24.

According to the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC), India’s POL exports stood at 5.4 million tonnes (MT) in July. Diesel exports accounted for more than 44 per cent of the total outbound shipments of refined petroleum products during the month.

Export of high speed diesel (HSD) rose a healthy 22 per cent m-o-m and 9 per cent y-o-y to 2.38 MT last month, which is the second highest in the 2023 calendar year (CY), after March (2.48 MT).

An oil marketing company (OMC) official said that lower demand during the monsoon months led to more capacity to spare for exports and demand from Southeast Asia and some from North-western Europe. Most of the uptick is from diesel.

ICRA’s Senior VP & Co-Group Head (Corporate Ratings) Prashant Vasisht also pointed out that July exports are higher owing to a surge in HSD exports.

“HSD production has declined due to crude production cuts by OPEC+ which has led to higher lighter crude processing leading to a fall in HSD production. Another reason for the surge in HSD exports is the embargo on Russian HSD by the EU because of which supply has reduced,” he added.

For the April-July period in FY24, the POL exports fell by more than 6 per cent y-o-y to around 20 MT. In value terms, the decline was steeper at 39 per cent to $14.4 billion during the same review period.

The current financial year commenced with POL exports declining from March 2023 high of 6.06 MT to 4.37 MT in April. Outbound shipments rose to 5.31 MT in May before softening to 5.01 MT a month later. In FY23, barring March, the exports were in the range of 4-5.7 MT.

Diesel exports are following a similar trajectory in FY24. Shipments, which stood at 2.5 MT in March 2023, fell to 1.91 MT in April before appreciating to 2.4 MT a month later. It again fell to 1.95 MT in June.

Besides diesel, the uptick in exports was registered in petrol, ATF and fuel oil.

Petrol, or motor spirit (MS), rose by 2.4 per cent y-o-y to 1.26 MT in July 2023. Petrol exports have largely been in the range of 1.23-1.26 MT so far in the current fiscal year.

Aviation turbine fuel (ATF) exports rose 9 per cent y-o-y to 7,82,000 tonnes in July. This is the fourth consecutive month of increase in jet fuel shipments abroad.

Export of fuel oil, also called heating oil, rose 4 per cent y-o-y to 1,42,000 tonnes in July making it the fourth month of higher outbound cargoes in a row during FY24.