Economy

Petrol, diesel sales rebound in May

Petrol sales grew 14% during the first half of May compared with the same period in the preceding month

Petrol sales grew 14% during the first half of May compared with the same period in the preceding month | Photo Credit: VEDHAN M

India's petrol and diesel consumption jumped in May as a pickup in economic activity as well as the start of the harvesting season aided the return of demand, preliminary industry data showed on Monday.

Petrol sales grew 14% during the first half of May compared with the same period in the preceding month, while diesel demand rose 1.8%. Cooking gas LPG, which last month saw consumption declining because of high prices, posted a 2.8% rise in sales.

Petrol sales by state-owned fuel retailers, who control roughly 90% of the market, at 1.28 million tonnes during May 1-15 were 59.7% higher than a year earlier and 16.3% higher than in the same period in 2019, data showed.

The consumption was 13.9% more than the 1.12 million tonnes seen a month earlier.

Diesel, the most-used fuel in the country, saw sales jumping 37.8% year-on-year to 3.05 million tonnes in the first half of May. This was, however, 1.5% lower than sales in 2019. It was 1.8% higher than 2.99 million tonnes of consumption during April 1-15 this year.

Industry sources said consumption in May was higher because of demand returning after high prices in the previous month muted demand. Also aiding the demand was the start of the harvesting season.

Another factor was the low base effect. April saw consumption drop due to a ₹10 per litre increase in petrol and diesel prices after a more than four-month hiatus.

Cooking gas, whose prices were raised by ₹50 per cylinder in March and on May 7 each, too saw a dent in consumption because of the rate increase. Sales of 1.05 million tonnes of LPG during May 1-15 were 5.4% lower compared with a year earlier. It was 12% lower than in the same period of May 2020 but 9.4% higher than in 2019.

Month-on-month LPG demand was up 2.8% compared with the 1.02-million-tonne sales in the first half of April 2022.

Jet fuel (ATF) sales rose 83.5% to 5,00,400 tonnes in May 1-15 from 251,400 tonnes but was 18.7% less than pre-COVID levels of 2019. They were, however, 7.7% more than sales seen in the first half of April 2022.

ATF sales are expected to continue to pick up with the complete opening up of air travel.


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Printable version | Jun 27, 2022 3:12:03 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/petrol-diesel-sales-rebound-in-may/article65419876.ece