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India Oil Demand in March 2012

Source: OPEC 3/28/2012, Location: Asia

Indian oil demand this year will be slightly lower than last year, as some economic indicators point to slower industrial use of oil. Furthermore, the deregulation of gasoline and diesel prices is expected to pass price increases to end-users. This, of course, will reflect on consumer behaviour in all sectors. The agricultural sector is expected to slightly ease its use of diesel this season; however, gasoline use will most likely stay the same. Recent data from India indicated weaker-than-anticipated oil demand in January. Although the country used more oil than in January 2011, growth was half of what was previously forecast. Demand grew by 0.08 mb/d in January y-o-y, versus the 0.16 mb/d of the earlier forecast. Most of the weakness was attributed to both gasoline and fuel oil use. Gasoline demand was affected oil was influenced by fuel switching to gas, among power plants. Despite January having lower than-expected oil demand, the total Indian figure for the year is not likely to be affected and is expected to see growth of 0.12 mb/d. According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, domestic passenger car sales increased by 7.2% during January 2012 y-o-y. Discounts, new car launches and improved demand for diesel vehicles helped demand for car sales bounce back, after this had slowed in the second half of last year, due largely to high borrowing costs and relatively high motor fuel prices.

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