Lockdown Effect: India’s Fuel Demand Falls By 46 Percent In April


The World’s biggest ongoing amid lockdown has impacted India’s fuel demand, which has dipped by 45.8% in April from a year earlier.

The extended nationwide lockdown and subsequent travel restrictions has stalled the economic activity in the country.

As per the government data, the consumption of fuel, a proxy for oil demand, totalled 9.93 million tonnes – its lowest since 2007.

State fuel retailers in India sold 50% less refined fuel in the first two weeks of April than the same time a year earlier.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) in its latest report said India’s annual fuel consumption will decline 5.6% in 2020 compared with growth of 2.4% forecast in its March report.

Consumption of diesel, which is widely used for transportation as well as for irrigation needs in India, was down about 55.6% year-over-year at 3.25 million tonnes. Sales of gasoline, or petrol, dropped by 60.6% from a year earlier to 0.97 million tonnes.

Cooking gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sales rose about 12.1% to 2.13 million tonnes, while naphtha sales fell 9.5% to 0.86 million tonnes.

State-retailers sold 21% more LPG in the first fortnight of April from a year earlier. India is providing free cooking gas cylinders to the poor for three months to June to help them weather the impact of the lockdown. Sales of bitumen, used for making roads, slumped 71%, while fuel oil use dipped 40% in April.

However, it is believed that as soon as the restrictions are lifted on the industrial activity and transportation, the country’s fuel demand is set to recover.