Petrol sales up 7%, diesel declines 9.5% in April

Source : PTI | India’s petrol consumption soared 7% in the first half of April but diesel sales were down 9.5% ahead of the onset of a harsh summer season that is set to crank up fuel demand, preliminary data of state-owned firms showed on Tuesday. Petrol sales of three state-owned firms, which control 90% of the fuel market, rose to 1.22 million tonnes during April 1 to 15 when compared to 1.14 million tonnes of consumption in the same period last year.

Diesel demand dropped 9.5% to 3.14 million tonnes.

While petrol sales were up mostly due to an increase in use of personal vehicles on the back of a price cut, crop harvesting season as well as the onset of summer which will increase the demand for air conditioning in cars is likely to reverse the trend in diesel demand.

Petrol and diesel prices were last month reduced by INR 2 per litre, ending a nearly two-year-long hiatus in rate revision.

Month-on-month petrol sales dropped 3.6% when compared to 1.27 million tonnes of consumption in March 1-15. Diesel demand too was down 2.7% month-on-month when compared to 3.22 million tonnes in the first half of March.

Diesel is India’s most consumed fuel, accounting for almost 40% of all petroleum product consumption. Transport sector accounts for 70% of all diesel sales in the country. It is also the predominant fuel used in agriculture sectors, including in harvesters and tractors.

Petrol consumption has consistently shown a year-on-year rise, diesel consumption has been on a see-saw – rising in one month and falling in another.

Consumption of petrol during the first half of April was 9.2% more than in the COVID-marred April 1-15, 2022, and 56.5% more than in the first half of April 2020.

Diesel demand was up 4.7% over April 1-15, 2022, and 27.9% compared to the first half of April 2020.

Jet fuel (ATF) sales rose 10.4% year-on-year to 3,35,700 tonnes during April 1-15, 2024. But this was 1.2% lower month-on-month.

Like petrol and diesel, ATF demand too is now firmly above pre-Covid levels.

ATF consumption was 34.3% more than in April 1-15, 2022, and 18.4% more than in the first half of April 2020.

Cooking gas LPG sales were up 8.8% year-on-year at 1.2 million tonnes in April 1-15, 2024. LPG consumption was 15.3% higher than in April 1-15, 2022, and 28.3% more than in the first half of April 2020.

Month-on-month, LPG demand fell 11.6% against 1.36 million tonnes of LPG consumption during March 1-15, the data showed.