Indian oil demand recovered to 4.53 mb/d in October, higher y/y by 0.20 mb/d, while September demand was revised higher to now show growth of 56 thousand b/d. Demand for the four main products was strong in October, led by diesel, with combined y/y growth of 0.14 mb/d. Gasoline demand averaged 0.64 mb/d, higher y/y by 28 thousand b/d, with growth slowing in the last two months amid higher prices and sluggish auto sales (up by just 1.5% y/y). Diesel demand rebounded to 1.69 mb/d, the strongest October on record, higher y/y by 0.11 mb/d. Unlike passenger car, sales of commercial vehicles maintained solid momentum, rising by 24.8% y/y to 87,147 units. Combined jet/kero demand was flat m/m at 0.25 mb/d, higher y/y by 9 thousand b/d. Jet demand rose y/y by 14 thousand b/d. Domestic air passenger traffic grew by around 19% y/y in September, with heavily discounted tickets being offered by airlines due to stiff competition, helping to insulate customers thus far from the hike in jet fuel prices. October LPG demand fell m/m to 0.79 mb/d, amid high domestic stocks, but was still higher y/y by 36 thousand b/d, while naphtha demand rose by 17 thousand b/d y/y to 0.36 mb/d.
Refinery runs ticked up m/m to 5.2 mb/d although this was lower y/y by 53 thousand b/d. The Bina refinery only returned from works towards month-end, but this was offset by near record runs at Paradip. Crude stocks built by a significant 0.48 mb/d as the Mangalore SPR was filled and buying stepped up ahead of the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran. But with refinery works starting from November, crude imports should ease, while diesel exports will remain subdued, having contracted y/y for the second consecutive month in October, down by 52 thousand b/d.