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Festivities drive fuel consumption above pre-Covid levels

The nation’s diesel consumption in October rose above pre-Covid levels for the first time in a year on the back of festive demand. Diesel consumption rose 1.3 per cent to 5,863.9 thousand metric tonnes (TMT), compared to 5,790.2 TMT in October 2019, but was down 5.1 per cent from October 2020, according to data compiled […]

Written by Karunjit Singh | New Delhi |
November 2, 2021 3:33:13 am

The nation’s diesel consumption in October rose above pre-Covid levels for the first time in a year on the back of festive demand. Diesel consumption rose 1.3 per cent to 5,863.9 thousand metric tonnes (TMT), compared to 5,790.2 TMT in October 2019, but was down 5.1 per cent from October 2020, according to data compiled from state-owned oil marketing companies.

Petrol consumption rose to 2,485.2 TMT in October, up 8.2 per cent from the corresponding period in 2019. Diesel accounts for about 40 per cent of India’s petroleum product consumption and is considered a key indicator of economic activity.

The rise in diesel consumption was due to increased movement of goods during the festive period, according to officials at oil marketing companies. Diesel consumption had previously grown over pre-Covid levels in October 2020, buoyed by both pent-up demand after local and national level lockdowns as well as festive demand.

The current growth in consumption comes despite a sharp increase in the price of auto fuels that are at record highs across the country as a result of high international crude oil prices and elevated taxes on petrol and diesel.

Petrol consumption has been showing consistent growth over pre-Covid levels since September last year, with an increasing number of people preferring to use personal vehicles over public transportation. The consumption of aviation turbine fuel (ATF), or jet fuel, however, remained 34.2 per cent below pre-Covid levels at 434.5 TMT, as international flights have still not resumed full operations post the pandemic.

Consumption of LPG, used as a cooking fuel, was at 2,505.3 TMT in October, registering a growth of 6.6 per cent above pre-pandemic levels and 2.6 per cent above October 2020 levels.

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