Diesel, the country’s most widely used fuel, saw sales jump 35.2 percent year-on-year to 7.38 million tonnes in June.
This was 10.5% higher than June 2019 sales before the pandemic and 33.3% higher than June 2020. This was 11.5% higher than 6.7 million tonnes of consumption in May of this year.
Industry sources attributed the recovery in demand for diesel – which first exceeded pre-pandemic levels in April – to higher consumption in the agriculture and transport sectors.
Gasoline sales from state-owned fuel retailers, which control about 90% of the market, at 2.8 million tonnes in June, were 29% higher than in the same period last year, when a devastating second wave of COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the economy.
This consumption was 36.7% higher than demand in June 2020 and 16.5% higher than 2.4 million tonnes of sales in June 2019 before COVID. Monthly sales rose 3.1%, according to preliminary data.
According to some sources, consumption in June was helped by last year’s weak base effect.
Consumption has been on the rise since May, when the annual summer vacation led to increased travel.
In April, consumption fell due to a rise of Rs 10 per liter in gasoline and diesel prices after a hiatus of more than four months.
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, whose prices have risen by 103.50 rupees per bottle since March, saw sales increase by just 0.23% to 2.26 million tonnes in June.
This was 9.6% more than consumption in June 2020, when the government granted free cooking gas to the poor to help them overcome the difficulties of confinement.
LPG consumption was 27.9% higher than demand in June 2019 and 6% higher than the 1.77 million tonnes of sales in June 2021.
Jet fuel (ATF) sales more than doubled to 535,900 tonnes as the aviation sector opened up after two years.
ATF consumption was 150.1% higher than June 2020, but 12.9% lower than pre-COVID sales of 615,400 tonnes in June 2019. Monthly sales increased by 6%.