NEW DELHI: Indian demand for gasoline and diesel fell in the first half July compared to the previous month, as the onset of the monsoon reduced consumption in some sectors and restricted mobility, preliminary industry data showed on Sunday.
Diesel, the most used fuel in the country, saw its consumption fall by 13.7% from July 1 to 15 to 3.16 million tonnes, against 3.67 million tonnes of demand during the same period. of the previous month.
The onset and intensity of the monsoon weighs heavily on diesel demand in the country and consumption is traditionally lower in July-September than in April-June. Floods limit mobility and demand from the agricultural sector, which uses diesel in irrigation pumps and trucking, also drops with the onset of rains.
Diesel demand, however, grew nearly 27% year-over-year, supported by strong economic growth and a relatively weak baseline for the same period in 2021, when a second wave of COVID-19 had an impact on the economy.
Diesel consumption was 43.6% higher than demand of 2.2 million tonnes from July 1-15, 2020. It was 13.7% higher than July 2019 pre-COVID, the data showed.
Gasoline sales fell 7.8% to 1.27 million tonnes in the first half of July, compared to 1.38 million tonnes consumption in the same period the previous month.
Consumption was however 23.3% higher than in July 2021 and 46% higher than in the first half of July 2020. It was 27.9% higher than in July 2019 before COVID.
Automotive fuel demand in June was supported by an increase in summer travel to colder parts of the country to escape the heat and holidays during the annual educational vacation.
As the aviation sector opens up, India’s overall passenger traffic (both domestic and international) at airports has approached pre-COVID-19 levels.
As a result, demand for jet fuel (ATF) increased by 77.2% to 247,800 tonnes from July 1 to 15 compared to the previous year. It was 125.9% higher than July 2020, but 17.7% lower than July 2019 before COVID. Month over month, sales fell 6.7%.
With strong economic growth of 7.1%, India’s oil demand has steadily increased since the country eased pandemic lockdowns.
“Monsoon months are traditionally low consumption months, but overall oil demand will continue its growth trajectory for the rest of the year,” an industry official said.
The government had, on March 25, 2020, imposed a nationwide lockdown to control the spread of the coronavirus. The full lockdown, which halted mobility and crippled business, was slowly eased after two months.
cooking gas LPG sales rose 14.15% year-on-year to 1.24 million tonnes in the first half of July. This despite a price hike of Rs 50 per cylinder.
LPG consumption was 16.6% higher than July 2020 and 8.6% higher than July 2019.
Also month-on-month, demand was up 8.3% from consumption of 1.15 million tonnes of LPG in the first half of June, the data showed.