Diesel sales, which contribute to around 40% of the total consumption of petroleum products, was 7.5% lower in April than the previous month. Petrol sales were the lowest since August 2020, and down 13% from the previous month to 2.4 MT.
Consumption of Petroleum products fell to 17 million tonne (MT) in April, the lowest recorded since September, 2020 signalling that the re-imposition of lockdown curbs with the second wave of the coronavirus in many areas has slowed industrial and commercial consumption.
Diesel sales, which contribute to around 40% of the total consumption of petroleum products, was 7.5% lower in April than the previous month. Petrol sales were the lowest since August 2020, and down 13% from the previous month to 2.4 MT. Overall consumption of petroleum products in the month was, however, 81.5% higher annually, mainly on a lower base of abnormally muted sales in April 2020.
According to provisional data by the government’s petroleum planning and analysis cell (PPAC), the consumption volumes in April were 145% higher on a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis for petrol and 105% for diesel. A country-wide lockdown was in force during April 2020 which had suppressed consumption.
Demand for the aviation turbine fuel (ATF) in April, at 409 thousand tonne, was more than seven times higher than the corresponding period last year, but recorded a 13.9% fall from March levels with states starting to impose restriction on inter-state travel. Sales of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) was at a ten-month low at 2.1 MT in April. Consumption of bitumen, mostly used in road construction, decreased 27.2% in April from March levels.
Domestic consumption of petroleum products in FY21 fell 9.1% y-o-y to 194.7 MT, marking the first year to record a drop since FY99. PPAC does not show data before FY99. Diesel usage dipped 11.9% to 72.7 MT in FY21, while demand of petrol fell 6.7% to 27.9 MT. Consumption of petroleum products had moderated even before the pandemic and domestic sales of petroleum products in FY20 had inched up 0.2% y-o-y to 213.7 MT.