There seems to be some green shoots appearing for the economy with the November fuel sales saw strong growth of 10.5 percent, coming in at a multi-month high. Both petrol and diesel consumption was up 9 percent compared to around 2 percent growth between August to October.
MK Surana, chairman and MD of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) said the fuel consumption growth in November was a seasonal impact. “As far as November sales is concerned, it has got some seasonal effect in the sense that last year Diwali was in November, this year Diwali was in October because during Diwali season, the truckers’ activities are reduced. Last year it was minus 5 percent in the month of Diwali and subsequent month it was plus 5 percent. So, November month growth has seasonal impact. I don’t think that we can repeat a performance of 9 percent growth on diesel on a month on month (MoM) basis or 10 percent overall growth of petroleum products MoM,” he said.
However, as far as petrol is concerned, it has seen a consistent growth of 7-9 percent, which continued in October and November because the petrol activities are guided by the individual’s driving habits and that doesn’t get subdued during Diwali season, he added.
As far as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is concerned, it had an impact of the last year pricing, said Surana. "Going forward there are some movements, which suggest that we should have the better offtake now because the monsoon is also completed, the winter season is better than the summer season as far as fuels are concerned. However, I don’t think it will be a repeat performance of 10 percent but it should be better than what it was earlier,” he stated.
“Going forward, I continue to expect petrol consumption to grow at 8-9 percent, LPG at 7-8 percent. Diesel, I expect it to be in the range of around 3 percent or so, if we can continue to have a reasonable offtake on that.”
Speaking about integration with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), he said, “As far as HPCL is concerned, right from beginning, it was supposed to be an independent identity and that is what it continues to be. We are trying to create values by focusing on both our relative strength areas and individual lines of businesses and combined what we can do further. "
"It was always supposed to be HPCL maintaining its independent identity as a listed company - maintaining its brand, identity, culture and at the same time create better values and that is what we are trying to do,” he added.