India’s fuel demand recovery gathered momentum in May as easing of lockdown restrictions helped nearly double the sales when compared with the previous month, according to preliminary data available from state-owned fuel retailers.
The demand is set to rise further as more curbs on transport and industrial activities have been lifted in the fifth phase of the nationwide lockdown imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus. Lockdown 5.0 begins from June 1.
Petrol sales in May declined by 36.5 per cent to 1.59 million tonne as compared to the year-ago period, but were up from 9,73,000 tonne sold in April. In April, petrol sales declined 61 per cent.
Diesel sales fell by 31 per cent to 4.81 million tonne in May from a year earlier. In April, they had fallen by 56.5 per cent at 3.25 million tonne.
With most airlines grounded, jet fuel (ATF) sales fell 85 per cent to 9,600 tonne in May.
The only fuel that showed growth was LPG as the government dole of free cooking gas cylinders to poor households fired up consumption by 13 per cent to 2.3 million tonne from the year-ago period, the data showed.
LPG sales had risen by 12 per cent to 2.13 million tonne in April.