COVID-19 wreaks havoc: Fuel consumption declines for the first time in decades

Fuel consumption, a vital indicator of the health of an economy, had shown decrease for the first time amid COVID-19 crisis
COVID-19 wreaks havoc: Fuel consumption declines for the first time in decades
Representative imageImage source: Pixabay

New Delhi: The COVID-19 outbreak is bringing out the real effect it had on demand density and economic activity around various business sectors.

Fuel consumption, a vital indicator of the health of an economy, had shown decrease for the first time in two decades going down by a big margin of over nine per cent in FY21 as pandemic related lockdowns restricted economic activity and reduced the movement of goods and services around India.

India’s total consumption off petroleum products fuel two 195 million tonne (mt) in 2020-21 as against 214 mt in previous financial year, according to oil ministry's Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC). This is for the first time since 1998-99 that consumption of petroleum products has gone down in India indicating the extent of economic impact that's the pandemic is having in the country.

While FY21 numbers shows a sharp failure, in March India's fuel consumption rose to its highest since December 2019 growing by 18 per cent to close to about 19 mt. For FY21, the decline in consumption has been led by diesel that remained affected throughout the year as slim economic activities resulted in lesser requirement of transport. Diesel consumption fell 12 per cent to 73 mt while petrol demand withered 7 per cent to 28 mt.

Among petroleum products, only LPG consumption has gone up as government the scope of using the cleaner fuel under its Ujjwala Yojana to include 1 crore more households while cooking activity remained on in most part of the lockdown. Other products including aviation turbine fuel (ATF) and naphtha remained affected due to demand compression.

Meanwhile, state governments such as Maharashtra have started imposing sporadic lockdowns, closing restaurants, cafes, theatres and private-sector offices. India is reporting over 1,00,000 daily cases of COVID-19 from last two days, activating partial lockdowns that could further hit fuel consumption.

(With inputs from IANS)

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