The country’s fuel consumption in September rose month-on-month as economic activity continued to pick up, government data showed on Wednesday, but rising global oil prices halted recovery in the world’s third-largest oil importer and consumer. can.
Fuel consumption, a proxy for oil demand, totaled 15.92 million tonnes last month, slightly higher than August and 5.2 per cent higher than September 2020, data on the website of the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC).
But overall, consumption was still down by 1.7 per cent from September 2019. Monsoon rains and shipping bottlenecks had driven a decline in consumption in August.
Petrol sales fell 3.5 per cent since August, but climbed six per cent year-on-year and 9.5 per cent since September 2019.
Hetal Gandhi, director of CRISIL Research, said the increase in personal mobility pushed up the demand for petrol, “which has clearly gone up from pre-COVID levels”.
Diesel consumption, which normally accounts for around 40 per cent of refined fuel sales, also declined by 1.7 per cent month-on-month to 5.51 million tonnes, and was down 5.6 per cent compared to September 2019.
But the sales of diesel have increased slightly as compared to the same period last year. “Though overall diesel demand still remains below pre-COVID levels, a recovery is in line with the rush ahead of the festive season,” Gandhi said.
While a rise in global crude oil prices may slow the rebound, India indicated late last month that global oil prices could also accelerate the transition to alternative energy sources. [O/R]
“I see a gradual recovery in demand from here, but higher oil prices could pose a serious problem for Indian consumers,” said Ehsan-ul-Haq, analyst at Refinitiv.
Compared to a year ago, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sales rose 4.5 per cent to 2.36 million tonnes, while naphtha sales fell 0.5 per cent to 1.11 million tonnes. Sales of bitumen used in road construction increased by 7.2 percent, while the use of fuel oil increased by 21 percent.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)