India’s overall petroleum products consumption, which had nosedived in the last week of March and April this year, steadily returned to the pre-lockdown levels in June 2020, data emanating from the sales figures of public sector oil majors IOC, BPC and HPC has revealed.
The sales of petroleum products in India, the world’s third-biggest oil consumer, declined to the lowest since 2007 due to the nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
With the gradual lifting of the lockdown in a phased manner to allow the resumption of industrial activity and movement of people, total petroleum products consumption reached to 88 per cent in June 2020 (11.8 MMT) compared to June 2019 (13.4 MMT), indicating the increase in production, industrial and transportation activity.
The demand for industrial fuels such as sulphur, petcoke and naphtha reached levels of 89.3 per cent, 118 per cent and 80.7 per cent, respectively, while marine fuels reached a level of 138.5 per cent vis-a-vis corresponding period last year. The crude oil throughput of oil marketing companies’ refineries crossed 85 per cent as on date, from a low as of 55 per cent in the beginning of this year.
On an industry basis, in June 2020, the petrol consumption had reached to 85 per cent of last year level (2.0 MMT in June 2020 vs 2.4 MMT in June 2019) and diesel reached to 82 per cent (5.5 MMT in June 2020 vs 6.7 MMT in June 2019) compared to the previous year’s level.
With the timely onset of the monsoon season and pick-up in agricultural activities during the Kharif sowing season, there was marked acceleration in diesel consumption that gained a 96 per cent in April 2020 level volume (5.5 MMT in June 2020 from 2.8 MMT in April 2020)
The demand for the LPG fuel continues to rise, with robust growth of 16.6 per cent in June 2020 over June 2019.
With the opening of the aviation sector domestically with 33 per cent capacity and repatriation flights under the Vande Bharat Mission for international passengers, aviation turbine fuel (ATF) consumption registered four times volume increases from April 2020 level (nearly 52 TMT in April 2020 vs 201 TMT in June 2020).
Similarly, with the resumption of major road construction projects, bitumen consumption registered a solid growth of 32 per cent in June 2020 compared to June 2019.
Overall, the consumption of all petroleum products increased significantly from April 2020 level of 49 per cent (6.6 MMT in Apr 2020 vs 13.4 MMT in April 2019) to 88 per cent level in June 2020 (11.8 MMT in June 2020 vs 13.4 MMT in June 2019).