New Delhi: India’s fuel demand rose in March as a pick-up in agriculture activity helped reverse a slowdown that was witnessed in the first half of the month, preliminary industry data showed on Sunday. Fuel sales soared to the highest levels in February on the back of robust demand from the agriculture sector as well as transport picking up after the winter lull.
But a seasonal slowdown kicked in during the first half of March. However, there was a pick-up in the second half, which helped sales rise even month-on-month despite the high base of February. (Also Read: Latest Bank Fixed Deposit Rates 2023: ICICI vs HDFC vs PNB FD Rate Compared)
Petrol sales rose 5.1 percent to 2.65 million tonnes in March when compared with the same period of last year. Sales were up 3.4 percent month-on-month, the data showed. (Also Read: IDBI Launches New Amrit Mahotsav FD Scheme – Check Interest Rate, Maturity Period, And Other Details)
Diesel, the most consumed fuel in the country, saw demand rise by 2.1 percent to 6.81 million tonnes during March when compared with 6.67 million tonne sales in the same period a year back.
Month-on-month the demand was up 4.5 percent. In the first half, petrol sales had fallen 1.4 percent and diesel 10.2 percent year-on-year. Consumption of petrol in March was 16.2 percent more than in COVID-marred March 2021 and almost 43 percent more than in the same period of 2020.
Diesel consumption was up 13.5 percent over March 2021 and 41.8 percent higher than in the same month of 2020. With the continued opening of the aviation sector, India’s overall passenger traffic at airports inched closer to pre-COVID levels.
Reflecting the trend, jet fuel (ATF) demand jumped 25.7 percent to 614,000 tonnes during March when compared to the same period last year. It was 41.9 percent higher than in March 2021 and 34.8 percent more than in March 2020. Month-on-month sales were 4.54 percent higher.
India’s recovery has continued to gain momentum in recent months but has been accompanied by elevated inflation. The country’s oil demand had been rising steadily since the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
Cooking gas LPG sales fell 3 percent year-on-year to 2.37 million tonnes in March. LPG consumption was 9 percent higher than in March 2021 and 5.8 percent more than in March 2020. Month-on-month, the demand dropped by 6.54 when compared to 2.54 million tonnes of LPG consume.
Source: ZEE News