New Delhi, May 11 (IANS) The nationwide lockdown to contain Covid-19 outbreak is seriously denting fuel demand in world’s third biggest consuming nation putting a question mark on sustenance of recent surge in global oil prices.
In April, fuel consumption fell more than 65 per cent as over a month of lockdown down curbed economic activity and restricted travel and transportation affecting sale and demand of auto fuels.
Petrol consumption in April, 2020 stood at 9,73,000 tonne, a sharp fall of around 60 per cent from consumption of 2.4 million tonnes in April, 2019. Also, diesel, which is consumed extensively by the transportation and agricultural sectors, the demand fell sharply by about 55 per cent to 3.25 million tonnes from 7.3 million tonne in April, 2019.
The suspension of passenger flights during lockdown also resulted in a collapse in demand for aviation turbine fuel (ATF). The consumption of ATF in April declined sharply by close to 90 per cent to a mere 56,000 tonne last month from a level of 6,45,000 tonne in April, 2019.
Overall the petroleum product consumption fell to 9.92 million tonne, a drop of more than 45 per cent than April, 2019 levels.
Contrary to sharp decline in auto fuel consumption, LPG demand remained high was reported by oil Companies even in March. With people remaining indoors during lockdown, cooking seems to have increased, thereby pushing up cooking gas LPG consumption.
LPG consumption increased by about 12 per cent to 2.1 million tonne in April this year. Government decision to provide three free cylinders to Ujjwala customers also pushed Io demand.
Oil consumption is expected to remain subdued in the country as economic activity largely remains suspended. Though there is pick up in May due to resumption some economic activity as government looks to ease lockdown in phases, it is still fall from normal levels. International Energy Agency has projected that fuel demand innIndia would fall by 5.6 per cent in 2020.