April 2, 2021 5:28:39 am
Petrol and diesel sales by state-owned oil marketing companies (OMCs) rose 27.4 per cent and 28.6 per cent, respectively, last month due to low base in March 2020 which was hit by the start of Covid-19-related travel restrictions.
Sales of the two fuels had crashed in March 2020 as the government imposed travel restrictions to control the spread of Covid-19.
Petrol sales recovered to pre-Covid levels last September and have continued to grow almost each month amid an increasing preference for personal mobility.
However, diesel sales — an indicator of industrial activity — have grown for the first time since October, when sales was high due to the festive season.
Petrol sales last month was at 2,475 thousand metric tonnes (TMT), up from 1,943 TMT in March 2020.
The 6,406-TMT of diesel sales by Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd was, however, still down 4.7 per cent compared to March 2019, as per data reviewed by The Indian Express.
Experts said the resurgence of Covid-19 and travel restrictions to combat the spread in parts of the country could also hit recovery of diesel consumption going forward.
“Businesses may try to localise their supply chains at a state level and prefer suppliers who are nearby over suppliers who are in far-flung areas,” said Vivekanand Subbaraman, an analyst at Ambit Capital.
Meanwhile, consumption of aviation turbine fuel fell to 437 TMT last month from 457 TMT in March 2020 and that of LPG to 2,264 TMT from 2,292 TMT.
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