India’s fuel demand rose sharply in February as consumption of petrol and diesel jumped by double digits, reported PTI citing preliminary industry data released on Wednesday. This comes after a winter slump in fuel consumption the previous month.
According to the report, petrol sales of government-owned fuel retailers jumped 12 per cent to 2.57 million tonnes in February compared to 2.29 million tonnes in the same period of last year. This is 1.57 per cent higher than the sales in February 2021, when Covid-19 halted economic activities.
Demand increased 13.5 per cent month-on-month (MoM), reversing the decline from the prior month. According to the report, sales decreased 5.1 per cent month over month in January as a result of poor driving conditions.
In February, sales of diesel, the most used fuel in the country, increased by 13 per cent to 6.52 million tonnes as compared to the same period last year. Consumption was 12.1 per cent higher than in February 2021 and 7.7 per cent higher than in the corresponding month of 2020.
Sales increased month-on-month by 9.2 per cent from 5.97 million tonnes in January. According to the report, due to truck traffic being interrupted by snowfall in higher elevations, diesel consumption in January decreased by 8.6 per cent MoM.
Industry sources told PTI that diesel demand surged as trucks returned to roads and rabi sowing season peaked. The use of the fuel in irrigation pumps and trucking also helped build momentum. Because of the increase in consumption brought on by vacation travel the prior month, January sales were down month on month as well. With the aviation industry’s continued liberalisation, pre-COVID airport passenger volumes were gradually reached in India, the report said.
Jet fuel (ATF) demand has also increased 41 per cent to 574,200 tonnes in February compared to the same month last year, the report said. It is 9.7 per cent lower than in February 2020 but 41.3 per cent greater than in February 2021. Sales were up 3.3 per cent month-on-month.
Sources told the news agency that although domestic air travel has returned to its pre-Covid levels, international aviation traffic is still suffering as a result of ongoing restrictions in some nations.
The recovery in India has accelerated recently, although this has been accompanied by high inflation. Ever since the Covid-19 restrictions were loosened, India’s oil demand has been continuously increasing. Cooking gas LPG sales were up 2.43 per cent year-on-year at 2.53 million tonnes in February. LPG consumption was 12 per cent higher than in February 2021 and 22.2 per cent more than in February 2020, the report said. Adding that Month-on-month, the demand was up 6.14 per cent when compared to 2.38 million tonnes of LPG consumption during January.