India’s fuel consumption grew at a slower rate of 5 per cent in the last fiscal ended on March 31 as diesel demand slowed. The world’s third largest oil consumer saw demand for fuel and petroleum products rise to 194.2 million tonne in 2016-17, up from 184.6 MT in the previous fiscal, according to the data from Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) of the oil ministry. The demand growth was slower than 11.5 per cent recorded in 2015-16 when consumption had jumped to 184.67 MT from 165.5 MT in the previous year. Demand for diesel, the most consumed fuel in the country, grew by 1.8 per cent to 74.6 MT in 2016-17. Diesel consumption has soared 7.5 per cent in 2015-16.
Last fiscal saw LPG sales move up by 9.8 per cent to 19.6 MT as government released 2 crore new connections for the poor. Petrol consumption was up 8.8 per cent to 21.84 MT on the back of rise in two-wheeler and car sales. Jet fuel sales were up 12 per cent at 6.2 MT. Kerosene demand however declined by a steep 21 per cent to 6.8 MT as government restricted supply of subsidised cooking fuel only to the identified needy. Also, LPG replaced it as a cooking fuel in many households. During March, fuel demand fell 0.6 per cent to 17.35 MT.
Petrol sales were up 2.9 per cent at 2.1 MT but diesel consumption showed a marginal 0.3 per cent rise at 6.8 MT. LPG demand was too was up only 1.9 per cent while kerosene sales fell by a massive 26 per cent to 414,000 tonne. While naphtha demand surged 1.8 per cent to 1.14 MT, sales of bitumen, used for making roads, was 12.2 per cent lower. Fuel oil use edged lower 23.4 per cent to 567,000 tonne in March.