Indian bulk diesel purchasers are picking up diesel from retail stations since pump prices are 25 rupees ($0.33) lower than bulk contract pricing, a spokesperson of a fuel retail joint venture of Reliance Industries Ltd and energy major BP told Reuters.

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Despite a jump in global oil and fuel costs, Indian state-run fuel dealers, which dominate local fuel sales, have not hiked pump prices since November 4, but they have continued to hike rates of direct sales to industrial or bulk clients in accordance with the terms of those contracts.

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“There is a massive surge of demand at fuel stations due to the increased delta of 25 rupees a litre between the retail and industrial price of diesel, leading to heavy diversion of bulk diesel customers to retail outlets,” said the spokesperson for Reliance BP Mobility Ltd (RBML).

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Reliance, the operator of the world’s largest refining facility at Jamnagar, distributes certain fuels to state-run refiners and also directly enters the retail sector through sales at RBML’s fuel stations.

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“There is also a very heavy lifting of fuel by dealers and both B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to customers), who have advanced their purchases, to top up their tanks and capacities in anticipation of the price increase which is overdue,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

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Gasoil sales, which account for almost two-fifths of India’s total refined fuel consumption, rose to pre-pandemic levels in the first half of March, up 32.8% from the previous month.

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The spike in diesel sales is placing strain on the country’s logistics and supply infrastructure, according to the spokesperson, who added that Reliance is dedicated to satisfying the demand of its retail customers as well as its export contracts.