India’s fuel demand rebounds in June after falling to nine-month low, Auto News, ET Auto
New Delhi: India’s fuel demand rebounded in June after falling to a nine-month low the previous month as restrictions to curb the spread of the pandemic were relaxed, which helped economic activity and mobility to resume.
Fuel consumption increased 1.5% to 16.33 million tonnes in June from the previous year and 8% from May 2021, according to data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC ) of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
Gasoline sales increased 5.6% year-on-year to 2.4 million tonnes in June. It was up 21 percent from May sales of 1.99 million tonnes.
Diesel – the country’s most widely used fuel – rose 12% from May to 6.2 million tonnes, but was down 1.5% from June 2020 and 18.8% from June 2019. This is the first monthly increase since March.
Fuel demand had returned to near normal levels in March before the onset of the second wave of COVID-19 infections resulted in the reimposition of blockages in different states, hampering mobility and reducing economic activity .
Consumption in May fell to its lowest level since August of last year amid lockdowns and restrictions in several states. Fuel demand showed signs of resurging in June after restrictions began to ease and the economy picked up speed.
With the addition of COVID cases continuing to decline and the pace of vaccination accelerating, state governments have continued to reopen, although there are some exceptions such as Maharashtra.
Then-Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said last month India’s fuel demand would return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2021.
“We are confident that by the end of this calendar year, we will be able to restore our original (pre-COVID) consumer behavior,” Pradhan said.
Consumption of LPG, the only fuel that grew even during the first lockdown due to the government’s free provision to the poor, increased 9.7 percent year-on-year to 2.26 million tonnes. It increased by 26.3% compared to June 2019.
While airlines have yet to resume large-scale operations due to global travel restrictions, sales of 2,58,000-ton jet fuel increased 16.2 percent year-on-year, but 61 percent. 7% less than in June 2019.
Sales of naphtha fell about 3.1 percent to 1.19 million tonnes while sales of bitumen – used for road construction, fell 32 percent to 5,09,000 tonnes. Fuel oil consumption increased 1.9% to 33,000 tonnes.