:: Technical --- ID :: 17537
Fuel demand gradually returning to pre-COVID levels: Govt
Fuel demand gradually returning to pre-COVID levels: Govt

Fuel demand gradually returning to pre-COVID levels: Govt

New Delhi: India's fuel sales in June reached 88 per cent of the pre-COVID-19 levels as easing of lockdown restrictions is reviving economic activities, the government said on Wednesday.

"The sales of petroleum products in India, the world's third-biggest oil consuming nation, had in April fallen to the lowest since 2007, due to the nationwide lockdown, necessitated to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic," an official statement said.

Demand, however, began to revive in May and in June reached 88 per cent of pre-COVID levels, it said.

"India's overall petroleum products consumption, which had nosedived in last week of March and April this year, is now steadily getting to its pre-lockdown levels in June, as emanating from the PSUs' (IOCNSE 3.15 %, BPCLNSE 0.88 %, and HPCLNSE -3.24 %) sales figures," it said.

At 11.8 million tonnes of consumption, fuel demand in June was 88 per cent of 13.4 million tonnes consumption in June 2019.

Petrol consumption of 2 million tonnes in June was 85 per cent of last year's levels, while diesel at 5.5 million tonnes was 82 per cent of normal levels during this month.

"With the timely arrival of monsoon and pick-up in agricultural activities during Kharif season, there was marked acceleration in diesel consumption and gained 96 per cent on April volumes of 2.8 million tonnes," the statement said.

Demand for LPG fuel continues to rise, with robust growth of 16.6 per cent in June over last year.

ATF consumption registered 4-times volume increase from April levels.

"Demand of industrial fuels such as sulphur, petcoke, and naphtha reached to levels of 89.3 per cent, 118 per cent and 120.2 per cent respectively, while marine fuels reached to a level of 138.5 per cent vis-a-vis corresponding period last year," it said.

Similarly, with the restart of major road construction projects, bitumen consumption has registered a solid growth of 32 per cent in June.

The crude oil throughput of state-owned refineries has already crossed 85 per cent as on date, from as low as of 55 per cent in the beginning of April.

"Overall the consumption of all petroleum products has significantly increased from April level of 49 per cent (of normal) to 88 per cent level in June," the statement said.

April's fuel consumption was 6.6 million tonnes as compared to 13.4 million tonnes a year back.

The Economic Times 02-07-2020