India's oil product demand fell 3.6 per cent in August to 8.5 million tonnes with floods in many parts of the country adversely affecting consumption.
"Heavy rains and floods in large parts of the country including otherwise dry states like Rajasthan adversely affected sales/consumption," a petroleum ministry official said.
Petroleum product sales at 8.509 million tonnes in August was 3.6 per cent lower than 8.824 million tonnes consumption in the same month last year, he said.
Public sector oil retailers reported a marginal drop in oil product demand to 7.509 million tonnes from 7.533 million tonnes last year. But private retailers, including Reliance Industries, saw sales plummet 22.6 per cent to 999,000 tonnes in August this year.
Diesel, the mainstay auto fuel, saw a 1.2 per cent drop in demand to 3.131 million tonnes from 3.17 million tonnes in August 2005 while naphtha sale fell by 6.4 per cent to 841,200 tonnes and LDO consumption by 23.7 per cent to 61,900 tonnes.
LPG and petrol demand was almost flat at 866,600 tonnes and 757,100 tonnes, respectively.
The official said oil product demand during April-August was up 1.6 per cent to 44.835 million tonnes as against 44.128 million tonnes in the same period the previous year.
Diesel sales was up 5.3 per cent to 17.382 million tonnes but naphtha demand saw a 11.1 per cent dip to 3.984 million tonnes. LPG consumption was up 2.1 per cent to 4.121 million tonnes and petrol 5.1 per cent to 3.83 million tonnes.
PSU saw a 2.8 per cent rise in sale to 39.033 million tonnes in first five months of current fiscal but private retailers reported a 5.5 per cent dip to 5.803 million tonnes.