Sales plunge: Petrol, diesel output hit
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State-owned oil companies have virtually stopped producing premium or branded petrol and diesel as sales have plunged due to huge differential in rates when compared with non-branded or ordinary fuel.
The government last month cut excise duty on non-branded petrol by Rs 5.50 to Rs 9.28 per litre. It did not cut the Rs 15.96 a litre excise duty on branded petrol, and ordered the premium petrol and diesel be priced at cost.
This meant that price of branded petrol and diesel when up steeply. Branded diesel price saw a 43 per cent jump in price to Rs 65.81 while the prices of premium petrol went up by 9 per cent to an average of Rs 77.58 a litre in Delhi.
Regular unbranded petrol and diesel, heavily subsidised by the government, sell at Rs 67.90 and Rs 46.95 a litre respectively in New Delhi.
"Sales are almost nil zero," Indian Oil Corp's Director Marketing Makrand Nene said at the Petrotech 2012 Conference here. "There are no buyers (of premium diesel or petrol) at these prices."
An executive of Hindustan Petroleum Corp (BPCL) said the stocks that were lying before the September 15 price hike haven't exhausted yet and oil companies would supply branded fuel to petrol pumps only if there is a demand.
"We are rationalising the infrastructure," Nene said. "We will produce branded fuels only if there is demand from dealers."
IOC sells premium fuels under XtraMile brand, while Bharat Petroleum Corp and HPCL market the Speed and Power brands, respectively. Premium fuels contain additives that are aimed at improving engine performance and reducing emissions. "In 2007-08, the price differential between branded fuel and non-branded ordinary fuels was just 60 paise a litre, branded fuels used to contribute 20-30 per cent of our petrol and diesel volume sales," said a senior official at BPCL.
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