India’s daily petrol consumption exceeded pre-pandemic levels last month as states relaxed Covid-19 related lockdowns while petrol sales were low, signalling subdued industrial activity in July, showed preliminary sales data of state fuel retailers.
Daily sales of gasoline rose to 76,500 tonnes in July, a jump of about 3.6% over the corresponding 2019 period and 5.7% over June this year, preliminary industry data showed on Friday.
India’s gasoline sales recovered to pre-pandemic levels in October 2020 before a second deadly wave of infections began hitting the fuel’s demand in April. Rising fuel sales in India, the world’s third-biggest oil importer and consumer, is a positive development for global oil markets.
With the easing of restrictions by the states after a decline in infections, motorists flocked to tourist destinations and markets, leading Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to warn against overcrowding.
Daily gasoil sales, which account for about two-fifths of India’s overall refined fuel consumption and is directly linked to industrial activity in Asia’s third-largest economy, was about 10.9% less than the same period of 2019, the data showed. It was about 3.5% lower than daily gasoil sales in June.
India Oil Corp, the country’s top refiner, hopes gasoil sales to recover to pre-pandemic levels by November if there would be no stringent lockdowns due to the third wave of COVID-19 infections, its chairman S. M. Vaidya said on Friday.
State-run IOC, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd own about 90% of the country’s retail fuel outlets.