diesel: Petrol demand surges 8% over pre-pandemic level in Sept fortnight, diesel sluggish


NEW DELHI: Gasoline consumption continued its rebound in the first half of September, increasing more than 8% compared to the same period of the 2019 pre-pandemic, but growth in diesel sales were slow as the rains reduced demand.
Sales data shows surprising double-digit growth from a year ago in jet fuel demand due to the resurgence of domestic tourism, but it was still not enough to reach the pre-pandemic level. Sales increased more than 29% from the previous year and 8.7% from the same period in August, but were 41% below the comparative period of 2019.
Gasoline sales were 5.7% higher than in the same period of 2020 and 3.4% higher than the first half of August, driven by easier interstate travel rules thanks to quick vaccination and the preference of people for personal vehicles.
By contrast, demand for diesel, the most widely used fuel, continued to trail almost 7% below the 2019 comparative period and roughly 1.5% from the previous year. Also on a monthly basis, sales in the fortnight of September were down by about 1% over the same period in August.
Consume of LPG, which is also supplied as gas for home cooking, exceeded the pre-pandemic level by nearly 15%, while growth appeared moderate at about 2% compared to a year ago and about 9% higher than in August.
Industry executives were unfazed by the slow growth in demand for diesel, describing it as a “seasonal” phenomenon. Shrikant Madhav Vaidya, president of the nation’s largest fuel retailer, expects demand for motor fuels to exceed pre-pandemic level in the next quarter, “hopefully” by DiwaliAlthough he admits that jet fuel will take a little longer.
“The demand for diesel falls during the monsoons every year, as good rains dry up the demand from the agricultural sector (for the operation of the irrigation pumps). The floods disrupt the movement of goods and construction activities. Even large infrastructure projects are affected. All these sectors are large consumers of diesel, ”said an executive from an oil company.

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