India’s domestic cooking gas demand spikes in April during lockdown

India’s domestic cooking gas demand during the nationwide lockdown has spiked; with state run Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOC) registering a 20% jump in liquified petroleum gas (LPG) sales during April.

The country has been in a lockdown since 25 March, with its 1.3 billion population cooped indoors. According to the initial plan the 21-day lockdown was to end on 14 April but was extended by another 19 days to 3 May, bringing the world’ second most populous country to a standstill.

“The corporation’s LPG sale during April 1-20, 2020 was 696.6 thousand metric tonnes (TMT), up by over 19.6% compared to the same period last year,” IOC, India’s largest refiner said in a statement on Tuesday.

This comes in the backdrop of India rolling out a Rs1.7 trillion relief package, which included providing 83 million below poverty line (BPL) families with free cooking gas cylinders for three months under the Ujjwala scheme.

While Indian refiners have slashed their production due to the transportation fuel demand shrinking, there has been an increase in the demand for domestic cooking gas. India is the world’s third-largest oil importer and the fourth-largest buyer of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

“To meet this rise in demand, IndianOil has tied up additional LPG imports by almost 50%, and its 98 LPG bottling plants are working extended hours, operating night shifts and on public holidays/Sundays.

With its LPG distribution channels, particularly the delivery staff, working round-the-clock, IndianOil teams have been delivering on an average 26 lakh cylinders every day to the doorsteps of customers in spite of the lockdown,” the statement added.

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