Global Economy

Diesel exports plunge 25% to $20 billion as global prices soften

India’s diesel exports fell 25% year-on-year in the first 11 months of this financial year to $20 billion as prices in the international markets softened.

The export volume increased marginally to 26 million metric tonnes (mmt) from 25.8 mmt during the April 2023-February 2024 period, according to the petroleum and natural gas ministry data.

Petrol exports fetched $10 billion during this period, about 13% less than a year earlier. In volume terms, however, petrol exports increased 4% to 12.1 mmt.

Diesel and petrol exporters had an extraordinary run in the previous fiscal as the start of the Russia-Ukraine war in February 2022 and the consequent Western sanctions on Russia dislocated the energy market. Diesel and petrol prices surged in the international markets before easing towards the end of 2022-23. On average, diesel and petrol prices are down about 20% and 15%, respectively, year-on-year in this fiscal in the international market.

In 2022-23, diesel exports fetched $28.9 billion, up 64% from $17.6 billion in 2018-19, a pre-Covid year. The volume, though, increased just 2.5% to 28.5 mmt from 27.8 mmt. Similarly, petrol exports increased 50% in four years in value terms to $12.9 billion, but only 2% in volume to 13.1 mmt in 2022-23.

Diesel Exports Plunge 25% to$20B as Global Prices Soften

India’s fuel export is dominated by the private sector refiners, with Reliance Industries being the country’s largest exporter of petrol and diesel. Europe has increasingly become an important market for Indian refined products since the beginning of the Ukraine war, which prompted the continent to shun Russian oil. Supplies from America and India have increasingly replaced Russian diesel in Europe. At the same time, Russian refined products have found customers in China and other markets, though some supplies still flow to Europe.

India is also experiencing a strong growth in oil demand. Domestic consumption of petrol and diesel has increased 5-6% year-on-year this fiscal.


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