Petrol demand rises 3.9%, diesel declines 5.1% in October

Petrol demand rises 3.9%, diesel declines 5.1% in October

The demand for petrol rose 3.9% over last year in October and that for diesel fell 5.1%. The demand for both fuels, however, stayed above the pre-pandemic levels on increased transportation in the festival season.

Diesel sales were 1.3% more than in October of 2019 while petrol sales were 8.2% higher, as per preliminary sales data from state-run fuel retailers that control 90% India’s fuel retail network.

Festivals, which typically boost demand for consumer goods, requiring increased transportation of goods, also aid the consumption of diesel. Diesel, which makes up 40% of India’s refined fuel demand, is mostly used in commercial transport, backup generators, mines and agriculture.

Petrol sales rose 8.2% above the pre-pandemic level in October. Petrol has been fast to recover from the impact of the pandemic after the first as well as the second wave, as the fuel is mainly used in personal vehicles unlike diesel, which has been hurt by the slow reopening of commercial transport. A general shift in preference for petrol-powered cars over the years has also increased the share of such vehicles on the road, boosting demand for fuel. Jet fuel sales grew 26.9% over last year but remained 34.2% lower than in 2019.

Domestic flying has revived but the international routes remain restricted. Domestic airlines carried a record 340,000 passengers on Saturday. Cooking gas consumption rose 2.6% year-on-year and 6.6% over 2019. Cooking gas demand has been steady through the pandemic.

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