June petrol sales rebound to 90% of pre-virus level, diesel 18% short

NEW DELHI: Fuel consumption recovered smartly in June to almost pre-pandemic level as economic activities picked up and holidaymakers took to the highways in large numbers after states lifted curbs on the back of declining Covid-19 cases across the country.
Petrol consumption posted a monthly jump of nearly 30% and diesel more than 18% in June to reach 90% and 81%, respectively, of sales in the same month of 2019, when consumption was ‘normal’.
Compared to last year, the volume of petrol sold in June is nearly 6% higher and diesel is short by just about 2%. Demand was drastically curtailed in June 2019 due to the countrywide lockdown to check the Coronavirus from spreading.
Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan expects demand to be back to pre-pandemic level by the end of this year. “There are signs of demand resurgence… We are confident by the end of the year, we will be in a very robust position to restore our original consumption behaviour,” he told an industry function on Tuesday.
Petrol consumption had dropped 17% and diesel sales, a proxy for economic activities, had slid 16% in May, the lowest since August 2020, as the second Covid wave prompted lockdowns in states, especially the industrialised ones.
Jet fuel consumption too recovered sequentially in June, falling just 4% short of May and 10% less than June 2020. But compared to 2019, demand was still down 61% as summer holidaymakers largely preferred to drive to nearby destinations rather than fly to distant places.
Demand for LPG, or household cooking gas, posted a monthly rise of more than 6%, marking 26% growth over June 2019 and 9.5% higher than the year-ago period.

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