NEW DELHI: India's petrol consumption jumped by 54 percent and that of diesel soared by 48 percent in the first fortnight of June from a year earlier with continuing demand recovery from a relatively low base in 2021 when the world's third-biggest oil user was in the grip of the second wave of Covid-19.
Petrol sales by state-owned fuel retailers, which control roughly 90 percent of the market, at 1.28 million tonnes between June 1 and 14 was 54.2 percent higher than the same period last year when a devastating second Covid-19 ave wreaked havoc on the economy.
This consumption was 48.2 percent higher than the demand in the first fortnight of June 2020 and 25 percent more than the 1.02 million tonnes of sales in the pre-COVID June 2019. Month-on-month sales were up 0.8 percent, preliminary industry data showed on Wednesday.
Diesel, the most-used fuel in the country, saw sales jumping 47.8 percent year on year to 3.4 million tonnes between June 1-14. This was 37.3 percent higher than the corresponding period of June 2020 and 20.3 percent more than the pre-Covid 2019 period. It was 12 percent higher than the 3.03 million tonnes of consumption during May 1-14 this year.
Industry sources said consumption in June was higher because demand returned after high prices in the previous month impacted sales. Also aiding the demand was the start of the harvesting season.
Another factor was the low base effect.
Cooking gas, whose prices were hiked by Rs 103.50 per cylinder since March, saw sales rising by 4.21 percent to 1.06 million tonnes in the first fortnight of June. This was 20.3 percent higher than 2020 and 28.1 percent more than June 1-14, 2019.
LPG consumption was 28.1 percent more than June 2019 demand and 2.9 percent higher than 1.03 million tonnes in May 2022.
Jet fuel (ATF) sales more than doubled to 242,900 tonnes as the aviation sector opened up after two years. ATF consumption was 125.1 percent more than June 2020 but 16.5 percent lower than the pre-Covid sales of 290,800 tonnes in June 2019. Month-on-month sales were up 1.2 percent.