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India’s oil demand rebounded in July, by 0.14 mb/d y/y to 4.42 mb/d, while May and June demand were revised higher. Demand in May, which was revised lower last month to show a y/y fall of 72 thousand b/d, was revised up substantially to now show a 0.1 mb/d y/y increase. Demand is likely to weaken in August as monsoon rains, which arrived late this year, have caused devastating floods in southern India. Gasoline demand growth eased, rising by 8.8% y/y in July. While weak passenger car sales are yet to have a material impact on gasoline demand in the country, widespread job losses are likely to slow gasoline demand growth in the coming months. July sales by India’s top five manufacturers of passenger vehicles slumped by 30.6% y/y, marking the biggest decline in two decades, and led automakers to idle plants. Diesel demand rose y/y by 2.6%, the strongest growth since February, supported by a delayed start to the monsoon rains and droughts. In July, as many as 59 reservoirs had storage at less than 80% of the 10-year average, which supported diesel usage in back-up generators. However, lower rural incomes amid weak monsoons have weighed on tractor sales, with the number of units sold over April–July down y/y by 14%, which could slow diesel demand growth in H2 19. LPG demand rose to 0.84 mb/d due to lower prices and renewed efforts by the Modi government to increase LPG connections to 80 million households by end-August, compared to 75 million as of end-July.
Indian refinery runs rose m/m by 0.19 mb/d to 5.15 mb/d (-0.15 mb/d y/y) in July, with works at Reliance’s Jamnagar refineries completed around mid-July. With crude imports staying subdued at 4.6 mb/d and runs recovering, crude stockbuilds eased to just 79 thousand b/d.